Trump to nominate son of Antonin Scalia to be next labor secretary

Eugene Scalia would replace former secretary Alex Acosta who resigned last week amid a firestorm over a plea deal for convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Image: At left, Eugene Scalia, nominee for Solicitor of Labor, gets
From left, Eugene Scalia, nominee for Solicitor of Labor, gets encouragement from Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., before Scalia's conformation hearing on Oct 2, 2001.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images file

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By Doha Madani

President Donald Trump announced Thursday evening his intention to nominate the son of deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to be the next secretary of labor.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter that he will nominate Eugene Scalia to head the Department of Labor, a position that opened up after former secretary Alex Acosta resigned amid backlash over a decade-old plea deal he helped arrange with convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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"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 working with labor and everyone else," Trump said. "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 currently practices law as a partner at the D.C.-based office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, according to the firm's website. He handled labor, employment, appellate, and regulatory matters cases at the national practice and previously served as solicitor of the Department of Labor.

His father, Antonin Scalia, died in 2016 after serving 30 on the nation's highest court.

Acosta was forced to resign last week as questions resurfaced over his handling of the Epstein case while he was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Epstein, 66, was arrested this month and charged in the Southern District of New York for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of girls, some as young as 14, in New York and Florida.

Acosta's office reached a secret non-prosecution deal in 2008 with the wealthy financier to halt the federal sex abuse investigation involving dozens of teenage girls in return for Epstein pleading guilty to lower state charges involving a single victim.

The former secretary resigned Friday morning despite his insistent defense over the deal and prior denials that he would step down from office.