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On August 27, President Donald Trump officially announced his intention to nominate attorney Gene Scalia to serve as the next Secretary of Labor. The move does not come as a surprise, as news of Scalia’s impending nomination to replace former Secretary Alexander Acosta became public in mid-July. Assuming Scalia is confirmed, he will replace current Acting-Secretary Patrick Pizzella, who will resume his role as the Deputy Secretary.
Scalia reportedly has been having meetings with a variety of Departmental agencies to familiarize himself with their work. That fact has led to some conjecture that Scalia’s confirmation in the Senate will be acted upon sometime soon after the current session resumes in September.
Whatever the implications of Scalia’s meetings may be, he already has experience at the Department, where he served as the Solicitor of Labor, the Department’s top lawyer and number three official. He assumed that role in 2002 under a recess appointment from President George W. Bush after having first been nominated in April 2001. Shortly after his nomination, Democrats gained control of the Senate and failed to confirm him despite his qualifications.
Time will tell how the Senate chooses to proceed with Scalia’s confirmation vote this time, but given his track record of defending against various forms of government overreach, his tenure as Secretary would be a welcome continuation of a more balanced approach to fulfilling the Department’s mission.
More news about Scalia’s nomination can be found here: