An excellent choice.
Trump taps dean Alexander Acosta, Florida law school dean, as new Labor nominee
By SEAN HIGGINS (@SEANGHIGGINS) President Trump named R. Alexander Acosta, dean of Florida International University Law, to be the next secretary of labor. He would replace fast-food businessman Andrew Puzder, who withdrew from consideration Wednesday afternoon.
“Acosta … has had a tremendous career,” Trump said in an afternoon press conference. “He has been a member of the National Labor Relations board and he has been through Senate confirmation three times.” Acosta did not attend the press conference, reflecting the whirlwind speed with which the administration turned to him.
Trump’s stressing that Acosta had previously been through Senate confirmation illustrated his frustration over the failure of Puzder’s nomination and the president’s desire to avoid the same fate with Acosta.
It was a theme echoed by his Senate allies. “Mr. Acosta’s nomination is off to a good start because he’s already been confirmed by the Senate three times. He has an impressive work and academic background. We will schedule a hearing promptly after his nomination papers arrive in the Senate, and I look forward to exploring his views on how American workers can best adjust to the rapidly changing workplace,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Acosta would bring a wealth of legal experience to the job. He was an assistant attorney general for civil rights during President George W. Bush’s administration and was a U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida. He served on the National Labor Relations Board from 2002 to 2003. He also was a law clerk for Samuel Alito before Alito was named to the Supreme Court.
As a U.S. attorney, Acosta prosecuted several high-profile cases including those of notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff for fraud, terrorist Jose Padilla and members of the Cali drug cartel. He participated in a case against Swiss bank UBS that resulted in $780 billion in fines for helping its clients evade taxes. The case resulted in the first-ever incidence of a Swiss bank turning over the names of its clients.
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