Conservative jurist nominated to the influential 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Published 8:30 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

ORANGE –Long considered by judicial observers a likely pick for a high-profile federal bench, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett was nominated Thursday by President Trump for the federal judiciary. The Orange County Republican Party heartedly congratulates Justice Don Willett on his influential and significant appointment.

Willett is one of the most prominent jurists in the nation, both for his sound legal writing and witty use of social media. His legal opinion on the over-reach of the regulatory state inspired syndicated columnist George Will in 2015 to declare Willett a go-to Supreme Court nominee for whoever the next Republican president would be.

Willett is being appointed to one of several vacant seats on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in New Orleans but handles federal appeals from Texas.

His background is the stuff of a made-for-TV political movie. Willett and his sister were raised in a small town by a single mom after their father died. She worked as a waitress and they lived in a double-wide mobile home. The young Don Willett was an aspiring rodeo bull rider.

“I have had the pleasure to meet Justice Willett on numerous occasions and have been impressed each time with his deep understanding of law as well as his charisma,” Orange County Republican Chair David Covey. “Justice Willett certainly understands the U.S. Constitution is in place to protect our inalienable God-given rights.”

After law school, Willett clerked in the 5th Circuit before working in private practice. He worked for Gov. George Bush, and later in the Bush White House and US Department of Justice. He served as the Deputy Texas Attorney General under then-Attorney General Greg Abbott, before then being appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Perry in 2005.

Willett was elected in his own right in 2006 and 2012.