Trump Nominee for Federal Judgeship Has Never Tried a Case

Mr. Talley demurred. “It would be inappropriate for me as a nominee to comment on the advisability of any nomination,” he wrote.

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Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa with Republican colleagues last month.

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J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking member of the committee, asked if Mr. Talley had ever argued a motion in Federal District Court, given that he had never tried a case. He had not.

Ms. Feinstein also pointed to Mr. Talley’s prolific social media presence before his nomination. He once referred to Hillary Clinton as “Hillary Rotten Clinton” on his public Twitter account, which is now private.

In 2013, he wrote on his blog that armed revolution was an important defense against tyrannical government. Ms. Feinstein asked in her written questions when Mr. Talley believed it would become appropriate for American citizens to participate in an armed uprising against the government.

He replied that he did not believe any situation in American history — with the “possible exception” of slavery — had called for armed rebellion.

At the committee vote on Thursday, Ms. Feinstein took greatest issue with Mr. Talley’s professed views on gun control. In 2013, about a month after a gunman killed 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Mr. Talley on his blog pledged his total support to the National Rifle Association, “financially, politically and intellectually.”

Ms. Feinstein said she had asked Mr. Talley whether, if confirmed, he would commit to recusing himself in cases involving weapons. He refused.

“I find this unacceptable,” she said.

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and the chairman of the committee, defended Mr. Talley’s qualifications. “Mr. Talley has a wide breadth of various legal experience that has helped to expose him to different aspects of federal law and the issues that would come before him,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Grassley also cast doubt on the importance of the bar association’s rating. “Senators can decide for themselves if the A.B.A.’s metric of what makes a nominee qualified is proper in these cases,” he said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, in 2012 had praised the bar association’s practice of evaluating judicial nominees as an important way to…

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