- President Donald Trump announced via Twitter Thursday his intent to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for the vacant Secretary of Labor position.
- Eugene Scalia briefly served as Solicitor of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) during the George W. Bush administration in 2002. He is currently a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, where he is also co-chair of the firm's administrative law and regulatory practice group and a member of its labor and employment practice group.
- The announcement follows Trump's designation of Patrick Pizzella to be acting Secretary of Labor after the resignation of former Secretary Alexander Acosta.
Trump's announcement comes at a critical time for the DOL, which is looking to finalize regulatory updates on key issues for U.S. employers ahead of an election year. Delaying these updates could lead to problems for the administration, one former DOL official previously told HR Dive.
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2019
Prior to serving as Solicitor of Labor, Scalia was a special assistant to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, NPR reported, and he also represented employers in cases before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board and the DOL.
Scalia represented the Retail Industry Leaders Association in a case before the 4th U.S. Circuit, which ruled in a 2-1 decision that a Maryland law mandating certain large employers to spend at least 8% of annual payroll on employee healthcare costs was preempted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Retail Industry Leaders Association v. Fielder, No. 06-1901 (4th Cir. Jan. 17, 2007)). Scalia was also part of the legal team that represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a case before the 5th U.S. Circuit, in which the court vacated the DOL's fiduciary rule (Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A., et al. v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, et al., No. 17-10238 (5th Cir. March 15, 2018)).