Eugene Scalia has focused on labor law and regulatory matters.

Eugene Scalia has focused on labor law and regulatory matters. Federalist Society via YouTube

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Trump Taps the Late Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s Son to Be Labor Secretary

Eugene Scalia has a long history of fighting unions and federal regulations. 

President Trump announced Thursday he intends to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to be Labor secretary. 

The president tweeted that Scalia, “Is highly respected not only as a lawyer, but as a lawyer with great experience working with labor and everyone else. He will be a great member of an Administration that has done more in the first 2 ½ years than perhaps any Administration in history!”

Scalia is a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he focuses on “labor, employment, appellate and regulatory matters,” according to his biography. During the George W. Bush administration he served as solicitor at the Labor Department, overseeing department litigation and providing legal advice on regulations. Scalia was a recess appointment of President George W. Bush due to his opposition of ergonomics rules, which allow for comfortable and efficient work conditions. Democrats and labor unions strongly opposed the nomination, as reported by The New York Times. 

The nominee also served as special assistant to Attorney General William Barr from 1992-1993, and as an aide to Secretary of Education William Bennett from 1985–1987. 

Scalia’s biography at his law firm touts his success in challenging federal regulations. The Times reported Scalia has a long record of fighting labor laws and unions—in the private and public sectors. 

In 2005, Scalia represented Walmart against claims the company fired employees who reported alleged wrongdoings. In 2012, Bloomberg BusinessWeek ran a story called, “Suing the Government? Call Scalia!” because of his success in challenging federal rules in favor of corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  

In response to the nomination Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted that Trump, “Is missing an opportunity to nominate a fighter for workers, like a union member, to be America’s next Labor Secretary. Instead, he has again chosen someone who has proven to put corporate interests over those of worker rights.” 

Patrick Pizzella, the No. 2 at Labor and another opponent of organized labor and federal regulations over his four decade career, began serving as acting secretary Friday, when Alex Acosta’s resignation officially took effect. There is not yet a date for Scalia’s confirmation hearings.