President Trump's nominee for a lifetime federal judgeship in Alabama, Brett J. Talley, has attracted scrutiny for the slimness of his résumé: He's only practiced law for three years and has never tried a case. But now he's attracting attention for his experience — as a ghost hunter.
The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Talley was part of The Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group from 2009 to 2010. The group says it searches for the truth “of the paranormal existence” and assists “those who may be living with paranormal activity that can be disruptive and/or traumatic.” Talley made the disclosure on a questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
David Higdon, the group’s founder who later co-authored a book with Talley, told The Daily Beast he couldn’t remember specific cases they may have worked on together.
“Mainly we may go into a house between maybe 7 at night and 6 in the morning and stay up all night long and see if we can see what’s going on,” Higdon said when asked to describe the group's work. “If we go into a private house, we mainly try and debunk what’s going on.”
Higdon said that 85 to 90 percent of the time, they don’t find any ghosts to hunt. “If you watch those TV shows, it seems like every five ten minutes, something is peeking up,” Higdon said. “It’s not like it is on TV. You sit in the dark and mostly wish something does happen.”
Talley also has a cult following for his horror novels, including "Haunted Tuscaloosa," "Haunted Alabama Black Belt" and "The Reborn." "I find it hilarious that no one is writing about his horror writing. He has a cult following," said Stuart Stevens, a 2012 campaign manager for Mitt Romney. "I have to say I wasn't really aware he was a lawyer as my dealings with him were as a writer on campaign. He's an interesting, smart guy. But so is Stephen King."
The American Bar Association has given Talley a rare "not qualified" rating for a federal judgeship. He advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote. This week, it was reported that Talley's disclosure form did not reveal that he's married to a top White House lawyer.