Senate Confirms Don Willett to 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Justice Don Willett / Twitter

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The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Don Willett of Texas to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, bringing President Donald Trump’s federal appeals court appointees to 11 in total.

Willett was confirmed 50-47, the Washington Examiner reports.

In 2015, the judge was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry (R., Texas) to the state Supreme Court. Before joining the state's highest court, he also served as deputy attorney general and chief legal counsel to the Texas attorney general.

Recently, he crowned himself the "most avid and prolific social media judge in America," and his tweets gained the attention of Senate Democrats during his confirmation hearing.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) asked the nominee to explain during the hearing two tweets in particular. One was about marrying bacon and another included a reference to former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

On the day after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2015, Willett tweeted he "could support recognizing a constitutional right to marry bacon."

In a tweet from February 14, Willett said, "Go away, A-Rod" with a link to a Fox News article about a transgender person joining a California girls softball team.

In an 11-9 party-line vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Willett’s nomination proceeded to the Senate floor for the final nomination process.

Although Willett stayed silent on social media after Trump nominated him to the federal appeals court in October, he didn't stay completely out of the headlines. In November, he helped a man who was choking at a Chick-fil-A in Austin, Texas.

The confirmation ties Trump with previous presidents for the most federal appeals court appointees that were confirmed in a president's first year. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon also both had 11 confirmed.

Democrats are unable to stop Trump’s judicial nominees due to a change the party made to the Senate rules in 2013, allowing nominees to be confirmed with a simple majority rather than requiring a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

Charles Russell

Charles Russell   Email Charles | Full Bio | RSS
Charles Russell is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. Before joining the Beacon he worked at America Rising and has spent several years on multiple campaigns. Charles can be reached at russell@freebeacon.com, his twitter handle is @charleswrussell.

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