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Updated: 20th August 2019 16:50 World

Trump to nominate son of late Supreme Court justice as labour secretary

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday his intention to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to be the secretary of labour.

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Eugene Scalia would replace Alex Acosta, who resigned after renewed criticism over Epstein deal

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Eugene Scalia's work as a lawyer as he announced that he plans to nominate him to be the new labour secretary. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday his intention to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to be the secretary of labour.

Trump tweeted the news Thursday evening, less than a week after his previous secretary, Alexander Acosta, resigned amid renewed criticism of his handling of a 2008 secret plea deal with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted earlier this month for sexually abusing underage girls.

"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," Trump tweeted about the younger Scalia, who is a partner in the Washington office of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm.

He will be a "great member" of the administration, Trump said. 

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the nomination would mean a return to the department for the 55-year-old Scalia. He previously served as solicitor in former president George W. Bush's administration, overseeing litigation and legal advice on rulemakings and administrative law. He has also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice.

As a lawyer, Scalia has challenged tighter U.S. financial regulations, a rule that forced energy companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments, and an order that required more distance between orcas, or killer whales, and humans after the death of a marine life trainer at SeaWorld Entertainment.

Trump had previously announced that Acosta would be succeeded in an acting capacity by his deputy, Patrick Pizzella.

With files from The Associated Press

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