Noted Trump-whisperer Sen. Tom Cotton was among those who helped grease the wheels for Eugene Scalia to land the appointment as the next secretary of labor, according to a report in the New York Times:
Two people familiar with his appointment said several conservatives had suggested Mr. Scalia to the president in recent days.
Among them was Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, who waited to suggest it until Mr. Acosta had agreed to step down, according to one person familiar with the discussions. After discussing the idea with several senior Trump officials, Mr. Cotton spoke to the president and then joined a meeting Thursday afternoon during which the president offered Mr. Scalia the job.
Scalia, the son of former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, is a Federalist Society ideologue who has built his legal career advocating for large companies and against the interest of workers. Representing corporate giants like Walmart and Boeing, Scalia has tirelessly fought against unions and legal protections for workers.
Scalia’s appointment is yet another example of the absurdity of depicting Trump, or Cotton, as populists. They’re tedious culture warriors, sure, but the actual policies they enact harm the interests of blue collar workers.
If confirmed, Scalia would replace Alex Acosta, who resigned amid a scandal over the sweetheart deal he gave convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida. Epstein was at one time pals with Trump; NBC released a video this week of the two cavorting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Epstein’s heyday.
The New York Times has more on Scalia’s track record of fighting against workers’ rights and health benefits, including his longtime crusade against regulations protecting workers from repetitive stress injuries (“unreliable science,” said Scalia), his fight for Walmart against a Maryland law that would have required companies with more than 10,000 workers to devote more money to health care for their workers, and his defense of Boeing when it was accused of violating labor law for threatening to open another plant in South Carolina unless the union capitulated to a no-strike clause.