Letter to the United States Senate Opposing Confirmation of Brett Talley for District Judge Post

United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senators,

On behalf of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), we urge you to oppose the confirmation of Brett Talley to be a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama.    

Founded over a century ago to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure fair and just treatment to all, ADL advocates for the civil rights of all people and combats discrimination and hate across the country. Though ADL rarely weighs in on judicial nominations, we are deeply disturbed by the nomination of Brett Talley and have serious doubts as to his qualifications for a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.

Mr. Talley has been practicing law for only three years, has never tried a case, has received the lowest possible rating of “unanimous Not Qualified” from the American Bar Association, and failed to disclose to the U.S. Senate that he is married to the chief of staff to the White House counsel, a substantial conflict of interest. While these are clear reasons why Mr. Talley should not be confirmed, as an organization that combats hate, we would like to call attention to two particular demonstrations of Mr. Talley’s extreme views and reckless rhetoric.

In one post to a University of Alabama fan message board, Mr. Talley supported a proposal in Mississippi to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan. In his post, Mr. Talley defended “the first KKK,” attempting to explain that it “was entirely different than the KKK of the early 19th Century.”[1]

On the same message board, someone posted a hateful message about smearing pigs’ blood on dead Muslim terrorists and hanging them in the doorways of mosques. When another message board user responded critically, asking why the poster was just targeting Muslims, Mr. Talley interjected:

There's no comparison between Christians and Muslims when it comes to terrorism. There's just not. There are terrorists who are Christians, but there is no organized Christian terrorist movement. Today, in countries around the world, the mainstream, dominant sect of Islam preaches the worldwide caliphate and the murder of nonbelievers. Doesn't mean we should be throwing pigs heads on Mosques, but we should recognize that this is not a lone-wolf issue.[2]

There is no place on the federal bench for a person who spreads Islamophobia anonymously on the internet, tolerates hate, and defends a terrorist organization that, from its very inception, was dedicated to white supremacy and racial violence.

In our view, the Senate’s role in the nomination process is equally as important as the president’s responsibility to nominate.  For the above reasons, ADL urges you to reject the nomination of Brett Talley to be a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama.


Jonathan Greenblatt
CEO and National Director
Anti-Defamation League


[1] BamaInBoston, Post #4, Feb. 10, 2011, https://www.tidefans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130205.

[2] BamaInBoston, Post #13, Dec. 10, 2015, https://www.tidefans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259628