The Jury Talks Back


HUZZAH: Trump Nominates Don Willett to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:30 am

Few things could make a constitutionalist happier than to see this: President Trump has nominated Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

President Donald J. Trump is a fatuous idiot — a blundering oaf of a narcissist who disgusts every right-thinking person with his assishness and general dopeyness.

But if you looked at nothing but his judicial nominees, you’d be pretty damn impressed — not just with their quality, but with his willingness to nominate people who have mocked or criticized him in the past. Which, um, Don Willett has most definitely done.

Just to name a few.

Of course, like Gorsuch, this happened because Trump is uninterested in judges and outsources everything to Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society.

And you know what? Nothing could make me happier.

So: nobody tell Trump about Willett’s past tweets. Keep it all under wraps until he is confirmed. (To SCOTUS.)

In all seriousness: good job, Mr. President. You’re an ugly dark cloud, but some of your silver linings are pretty sweet.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


  1. Was it the Federalist Society or was it the Texas delegation, especially Cruz?

    The Texas governor, a former state Supreme Court justice, is playing an outsized role, alongside U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, in the process of filling two vacancies on the powerful and influential 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
    According to attorneys watching the process closely, the leading candidates for the 5th Circuit openings are:

    • U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor: Cornyn’s top candidate for the circuit court, according to legal sources, is considered a shoo-in. O’Connor, who is based in Fort Worth, is a former aide to the senior senator and raised his profile last year when he blocked a federal directive that required public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. Cornyn’s seniority and position as majority whip mean the White House is likely to defer to him.

    • James Ho: A Cruz favorite who succeeded him as solicitor general, Ho is a Dallas attorney with Gibson Dunn and Crutcher who clerked with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He also worked for Cornyn. Active in the Federalist Society, a group that advocates for a conservative judiciary, Ho led a legal effort during Cruz’s presidential campaign to fight challenges to the Canadian-born Cruz’s eligibility to run for president.

    • Andy Oldham: Abbott’s deputy general counsel, Oldham is the governor’s leading choice. A former deputy solicitor general, Oldham has an impressive resume, including degrees from Cambridge University and Harvard Law School and a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

    • Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett: the candidate with arguably the highest name recognition, Willett made Trump’s short list of 20 Supreme Court justice preferences during the campaign. While known for his Twitter activity — the Texas House named him “Tweeter Laureate” — Willett has been involved in high-profile cases and has been on the Texas court since 2005. He also worked for Abbott before joining the court.

    There are two other Texas appellate court judges proposed by the committee, Michael Massengale and Brett Busby, but they do not appear to be part of the ongoing horse-trading.

    Abbott has promoted Oldham to Cornyn and Cruz and contacted the White House on his behalf, according to an Oldham advocate who is close to Abbott and spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is supposed to be private. After Oldham’s interview with the White House counsel’s office, “they gave him a standing ovation,” the source said.

    With O’Connor seemingly a sure bet, the decision for the second slot might come down to other political issues: Cruz is a pivotal player on the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act. George Shipley, an Austin attorney and Democratic political consultant, thinks that tips the judgeship nomination to Texas’ junior senator.

    “They’ll give that one to Cruz because they need his vote,” he said.

    Neither Cornyn’s top choice nor Abbott’s was selected. Instead, Trump picked Cruz’s choice, reportedly for Cruz’s support on healthcare — which Cruz gave but it ultimately didn’t matter. Who got the better of that deal?

    Comment by DRJ — 9/30/2017 @ 1:46 am

  2. Above The Law suggests Oldham will be Abbott’s selection to replace Willett on the Texas Supreme Court.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/30/2017 @ 1:47 am

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