Famous Twitter Judge Nominated to the 5th Circuit

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 29, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Presidents and judges can make strange bedfellows, especially when it comes to President Trump and Justice Don Willett.

It's true they come from the same conservative stamp, and they both are famous for their tweets. But it may have come to a surprise to Justice Willett when President Trump nominated him to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

That's because Justice Willett has been a long-time Twitter critic of the President. Perhaps the appeals court nomination makes sense, however, because Willett used to be on the short list for the U.S. Supreme Court.

No Twitter Revenge?

In making the announcement, President Trump also nominated Judge Kurt Engelhardt and attorneys Kyle Duncan and James Ho for the 5th Circuit. But the Willett nomination got the most attention, including, naturally, on his Twitter page.

With nearly 100,000 followers, congratulations came from virtually everyone, including his dog. Sen. Ted Cruz added his support, right below a picture of the judge -- and a golden retriever?

"Every step along the way, Justice Willett has stood out as a man of intellect and principle, and I am excited to see what he will accomplish on the Fifth Circuit," Cruz said.

Jim Geraghty, writing for the National Review, said it was wonderful news. Except, he said, it means Willett's "probably not on the short list for the next Supreme Court vacancy."

"Trump-Mocking Best"

In any case, it seems the Twitter president is willing to let bygones be bygones. Willett's tweets, however, are not forgotten.

Among his light-hearted criticisms of Trump, Willett tossed out a few zingers during the presidential campaign like: "Can't wait till Trump rips off his face Mission Impossible-style & reveals a laughing Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

Then, before the presidential nominee named Willett as a Supreme Court potential, the justice wrote about "Darth Trump" in a stealthy reference to the president's proposed border wall.

"We'll rebuild the Death Star," Willett said. "It'll be amazing, believe me. And the rebels will pay for it."

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