President Donald Trump officially nominated Tuesday Eugene Scalia as the new Labor Secretary, replacing Alexander Acosta.
Acosta resigned July 12 due to pressure over his handling of the sex trafficking case against ex-hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein.
Scalia was the lead Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher attorney who argued against Labor’s fiduciary rule before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. He is a son of deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Government ethics rules would likely prevent Scalia from participating in crafting a Labor Department fiduciary rule.
Scalia represented nine plaintiffs, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Financial Services Institute, in the case brought in a Texas court against Labor’s fiduciary rule.
Scalia told ThinkAdvisor last March that the fiduciary issue “is a matter that ought to be addressed by the SEC.”
Trump announced via twitter on July 18 that he planned to nominate Scalia to the post, stating that “Gene has led a life of great success in the legal and labor field and is highly respected not only as a lawyer, but as a lawyer with great experience….”
The Tuesday White House announcement notes that in 2001, Scalia joined the DOL as Solicitor.
Scalia is a senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a Federal agency that makes recommendations to Congress and the Executive branch on ways to improve agency procedures.
He has served as a lecturer in labor and employment law at the University of Chicago Law School and as an adjunct professor at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
Scalia received his undergraduate degree, with distinction, from the University of Virginia and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, graduating cum laude and serving as editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review.