After President Donald Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary, Andy Puzder, withdrew his nomination on Wednesday, the president announced Thursday during a press conference that he had nominated Alexander Acosta for the post. Here are five things about Acosta that you should know, courtesy of Heavy.
#1. He used to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board
Acosta graduated from Harvard Law school and subsequently clerked for current Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when he was at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. From there, Acosta worked for the Chicago law firm Kirkland & Ellis in their Washington D.C. office.
Later, he served on the National Labor Relations Board from December 17th, 2002 through August 21st, 2003, after being appointed by former President George W. Bush.
While on the board, Acosta reportedly penned over 125 opinions.
#2. He was the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice
In 2011, Acosta testified before Congress about the importance of protecting the civil rights of Muslim Americans. He said to the committee that “we are a nation build [sic] on principles of freedom, and high on the list of freedoms is freedom of religious expression. Indeed, as is well known to this Committee, this freedom pre-dates our Constitution.”
Acosta spoke about a variety of cases he has dealt with involving the civil rights of Muslims, including one instance where he instructed the Justice Department to intervene when a young girl was asked to take off her hijab in school and suspended when she refused. He goes on to talk about the importance of the president speaking up to defend Muslims.
Acosta was criticized for some of his actions as assistant attorney general, though, including his decision in 2004 to notify a federal judge that the Justice Department saw no issue with Republicans’ plan to challenge the eligibility of 23,000 mostly African-American voters, according to McClatchy DC. Acosta said in the letter that “nothing in the Voting Rights Act facially condemns challenge statutes.”
“It is totally unusual, it is unprecedented for the Justice Department to offer its opinions on the merits of a case like that,” Al Gerhardstein, a lawyer representing two civil rights activists, said at the time. “This is the civil rights division saying it is OK for voters to be ambushed when they reach for a ballot. That’s how the letter reads to me.”
#3. He served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida
While there, he was part of numerous high-profile cases, including taking on the drug cartels.
#4. Acosta is currently the Dean of Florida International University College of Law
He took on the role back in 2009, which sees him as the second dean of the college.
#5. If he receives confirmation, Acosta will provide the left an identity-politics conundrum.
The left loves them some identity politics, so they will surely be seething to see a Hispanic confirmed — forcing them to twist, turn, and smear in an effort to push their shameful divide-and-conquer strategy. All in a day’s work for the left, though.
Anywho, those are five things to chew on about the new nominee. What are your thoughts about Acosta for Labor Secretary?