President Donald Trump has announced that he will be nominating Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett for the 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals.
Trump announced today that Willett, a long-time member of the Texas Supreme Court, would be nominated for one of two vacant spots on the 5th Circuit Court, along with Dallas attorney James Ho.
Willett has served on the Supreme Court since 2005, when he was appointed to the seat by Governor Rick Perry. Willett has been re-elected to the Supreme Court on two separate occasions, once in 2006 and again in 2012. Willett defeated Democrat William Moody in 2006, 51 percent to 45 percent. In 2012, Willett defeated his Libertarian opponent, RS Roberto Koelsch, 79 percent to 21 percent.
Willett was also placed on a shortlist by then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016, as potential candidates to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. The spot eventually went to Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Willett's fellow nominee, Ho, was reportedly a favorite candidate of Senator Ted Cruz. The Texas Tribune reports that Ho, a Dallas attorney, had been promoted by Cruz for the role on the 5th Circuit Court. Ho had previously succeeded Cruz as Texas' solicitor general.