Trump’s unqualified federal judge nominee used to hunt ghosts

Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Alabama Federal District court judge is wildly unfit for the job, but not just because he has never tried a case and was literally deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. For Brett J. Talley, practicing the law is less a passion than a necessity — something he does to “put food on the table,” in his own words. What really interests Talley, is a little more spooky.

Before he was nominated for a lifetime of federal judgeship, Talley was a ghost hunter, and an enthusiastic one at that. From 2009 to 2010, he was part of The Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group, “a group of ethically minded people searching for the truth of the paranormal existence,” according to its website.

“We help those who may be living with paranormal activity that can be disruptive and/or traumatic,” the group’s homepage reads. And before you think this is yet another grifter the Trump administration is appointing to the federal government, it should be noted the Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group doesn’t charge for their services. They’re just really into ghosts.

The Daily Beast contacted the group’s founder, David Higdon, who said that while investigating paranormal activity might sound exciting, 85-90 percent of the time, they don’t find any ghosts at all. (Huh!) “If you watch those TV shows, it seems like every five ten minutes, something is peeking up,” Higdon told the Beast. “It’s not like it is on TV. You sit in the dark and mostly wish something does happen.”

None of that deterred Talley’s interest in the paranormal, however. The man who is on track to rule over cases that could eventually make their way to the United States Supreme Court not only hunts ghosts, he also writes about them extensively. He is the author of numerous books like “That Which Should Not Be.” Here’s a bit of its Amazon description:

Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural. From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston’s professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn’t hesitate to begin the quest.

The book’s cover features a Cthulhu-type monster, and so it should come as no shock that many of Talley’s works are reported Lovecraft knockoffs. The famous horror writer is apparently something of a fascination for Talley, who as Jezebel discovered, dove deep into Lovecraft’s well-documented racism on his blog. Oh, yeah. Talley is also a terrible, terrible blogger:

Here are the things I know about H.P. Lovecraft. 1. He was a visionary artist who changed the way we think of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, and his ongoing influence on our literary culture cannot be overstated. 2. He was a xenophobe and a racist.

The question is–which one matters?

To me, the answer is simple.


Truly the sort of genius analysis befitting a federal district court judge. If it hasn’t already been made abundantly clear, Talley’s forays into the otherworldly are so important to him he even listed his time with The Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group on his questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee. That’s really saying something, considering under the “conflicts of interest” section, he didn’t even remember to note that his wife is a lawyer for the Trump administration.

[screenshot: YouTube]