Filling critical appeals court vacancies, as closure successfully invoked also on the nomination of James Ho.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett was confirmed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals today. Justice Willett is best known for his Twitter account, where he stays away from politics, and is quite funny. Kemberlee put together a Best of (Future SCOTUS?) Justice Don Willett’s Twitter Feed.
As we previously reported, during confirmation hearings, Dems tried to attack some of his tweets, Aging, humorless Dem Senator rips judicial nominee Don Willett over Bacon Marriage tweet.
Dems again showed a lack of good humor today, playing the War on Women card against Willett and other judicial nominees. The Texas Tribune reports:
Willett’s confirmation came over the objections of several Democratic senators. At a news conference Wednesday morning, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, called Willett an “extreme individual” with a “frightening record.”
“Can any woman coming before this individual expect a fair hearing?” Merkley asked. “The answer is probably not.”
Before the afternoon vote, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spoke on the Senate floor about Ho and Willett, describing the judges as “close friends” he has known for decades. He implored Democrats to set aside “partisan rancor” and confirm both.
“They are brilliant. They are principled. They are humble men of deep character,” Cruz said. “And I am confident not only will they faithfully follow the law on the Court of Appeals, but…I predict that Jim Ho and Don Willett will become judicial superstars.”
Willett will assume a seat that was vacated in 2012. All four openings on the 5th Circuit have been classified as “judicial emergencies.”
At 11:00 a.m., @SenJeffMerkley, @nwlc's @FGossGraves & I will be speaking out against Fifth Circuit nominee Don Willett & so many others Trump judicial nominees who are #BadForWomen. Watch live at https://t.co/oFTyj2w7n1 #CourtsMatter
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 13, 2017
This scurrilous attack on @JusticeWillett has no basis in reality. The record is replete with letters defending his record as a judge, as a boss, as a mentor, and as a friend. I will tweet several of these letters. https://t.co/QJwjs9pVSP
— Josh Blackman (@JoshMBlackman) December 13, 2017
I don't agree with him on everything but Don Willett is the finest, fairest, best qualified public official I've ever met. This mindless partisan garbage is exactly why we can't have nice things.https://t.co/seXoyza2vB
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) December 13, 2017
In related news, the Senate also invoked cloture on the nomination of James Ho to the 5th Circuit of Appeals. So Trump is moving along filling critical appeals court slots.
In a setback to filling District Court vacancies, two nominations were withdrawn:
The White House is giving up on two of President Donald Trump’s nominees for the federal bench.
The president will not pursue the nominations of Brett Talley to a district court slot in Alabama and Jeff Mateer to a district court post in Texas, a White House official confirmed to POLITICO Wednesday.
Talley indicated he was prepared to withdraw from consideration after coming under criticism for a lack of experience and for failing to disclose that his wife works in the White House counsel’s office.
“He has offered to withdraw his nomination thus it will not be moving forward,” said a White House official who asked not to be named.
The official added that the nomination of Mateer, who ran into trouble over extreme statements about transgender children, “will not be moving forward.”
I’ll repeat what I’ve said before. Senate Republicans need to move faster, and Trump needs to speed up nominations, so that as many vacancies as possible are filled in case disaster strikes in the midterms and Democrats regain control of the Senate.DONATE
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