President Trump has picked Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, a popular judge on Twitter who was on Trump’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, for a position on a federal appeals court.
Trump plans to nominate Willett and three other candidates for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the latest in a wave of judicial nominations. The conservative-leaning court has ruled against several Obama-era initiatives.
The White House announced that Trump would also nominate Louisiana attorney Kyle Duncan, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt and Dallas attorney James Ho for the 5th Circuit, as part of the administration’s eighth wave of judicial nominations.
Leonard Leo, who took leave from the conservative Federalist Society in order to advise Trump on possible replacements for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, praised the picks on Thursday.
“Texas Justice Don Willett and Louisiana attorney and professor Kyle Duncan, in particular, embody President Trump’s commitment to picking judges who have a record of excellence and a commitment to a judicial role that is impartial rather than committed to a particular personal or legal agenda,” Leo said in a statement.
“They are held in very high regard by scholars and practicing lawyers across the country, and I am confident they will serve with distinction,” he continued.
Willett was originally appointed to the state’s Supreme Court by former Gov. Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryPerry rejects calls to sell off emergency oil reserve Harvey, Irma show the skyrocketing costs of climate change Overnight Energy: Gary Cohn to meet climate ministers at UN MORE (R) and was reelected to the post two more times.
Like Trump, Willett is an active Twitter user and has become known outside of Washington for his use of the social media platform.
Willett was selected for Trump’s short list of potential Supreme Court nominees earlier this year despite past tweets in which he was critical of the president.
In one tweet from 2015, when Trump launched his White House bid, Willett suggested that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could make him “weep.”