Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump released a list of eleven jurists he would consider appointing to the U.S. Supreme Court, including Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett.
Trump released the names of 11 potential prospects he said he would consider picking from to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
The list also includes: Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado and Raymond Gruender of Missouri, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, and Diane Sykes of Wisconsin.
The candidate previously said the list would include judges that “everybody respects, likes, and totally admires.” He promised the prospects would be great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want.”
Shortly after the death of Justice Scalia, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick wrote about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s suggestion that Willett would be a great pick to fill the vacancy. The Texas governor called the Texas Supreme Court Justice, “A proven conservative who won’t rewrite law.”
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 17, 2015
In July of 2015, Pulitzer Prize winning conservative newspaper political columnist George Will contrasted an opinion by Texas Supreme Court Justice Willett, with that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. The legal question posed by Will involved America’s natural rights tradition and the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments’ affirmation of unenumerated rights.
After evaluating Willett’s legal analysis, and comparing it to the conclusion reached by Justice Roberts, George Will concluded in his column that “[t]he next Republican president” should simply say to his first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, “Welcome to Washington, Justice Willett.”
Prior to serving as legal counsel to then-Attorney General Abbott, Willett served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a Special Assistant to the President at the White House, and was a lawyer in the Office of Governor George W. Bush.
Willett began his legal career as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then as an associate with the respected law firm of Haynes and Boone. He graduated from Duke University School of Law with honors.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.