Eugene Scalia is a longtime partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn in Washington, D.C., where he specializes in employment law. He is the son of the late Antonin Scalia, the conservative Supreme Court associate justice who sat on the bench from 1986 until his death in 2016.
During the Trump administration, Scalia served a short stint as Secretary of Labor (from September 2019–January 2021). Much earlier in his career, he had briefly served as the Labor Department’s solicitor (2002–2003). As secretary he was widely criticized for overseeing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s relatively meek response to workplace safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the Labor Department, Scalia promoted rulemaking that would discourage pension-plan managers from considering ESG criteria when making investments. “Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives that are not in the financial interest of the plan,” he noted in a 2020 press release. As of May 2023, Scalia is serving as counsel on a high-profile anti-ESG lawsuit, representing plaintiffs who are suing three New York City pension funds over their pledge to fully divest from fossil fuels by 2040.
Early in his career at Gibson Dunn, he argued that OSHA had overreached its authority in issuing citations against SeaWorld after a whale killed one of its trainers. He also fiercely opposed a new OSHA ergonomics standard to address musculoskeletal disorders.
Scalia holds a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a bachelor’s from the University of Virginia.
- Spoke on a panel titled “Should the Market or Regulators or Neither Mandate ESG Disclosures?” at the Federalist Society‘s Second Annual In-House Counsel Network Conference with Paredes Strategies Founder Troy Paredes, Strive Asset Management Head of Corporate Governance Justin Danhof, and United States Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce (5/19/23)
- Delivered the keynote address and participated in a roundtable discussion at the 2021 Fall National Meeting of the State Financial Officers Foundation (11/3/21)