WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump plans to nominate lawyer Eugene Scalia, son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to serve as his next labor secretary, according to an announcement posted Thursday on Twitter.
Scalia, 55, is a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he specializes in administrative law and handles cases related to labor and employment, according to The Washington Post and NPR.
He previously served as solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor under President George W. Bush. He also served as special assistant to Attorney General William Barr during his previous tenure as Bush's attorney general.
"I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor," Trump wrote Thursday in a Twitter post.
"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."
I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor. 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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2019
....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
Scalia has long represented companies that have pushed back against unions and strengthening labor laws, The New York Times reported. In 2005, he was hired by Walmart after former employees sued the company, claiming they had been illegally fired for whistle-blowing, according to NPR.
If confirmed, Scalia will replace outgoing Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who announced his resignation last week amid criticism of his handling of a secret 2008 plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein.
The deal, which came under renewed scrutiny after federal authorities revealed new sex trafficking charges against Epstein last week, allowed the 66-year-old to avoid significant jail time and federal prosecution after he was accused of molesting teenage girls.
Acosta's deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will serve as acting secretary of labor after his resignation goes into effect Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.