President Donald Trump reiterated his plan to draw from his already published list of potential replacements after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on Wednesday. ABC News questioned the legitimacy of one on that list, Judge Don Willett of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Willett, a former Texas Supreme Court justice, has a fairly active Twitter presence that made ABC News question his “odd social media habits.” (RELATED: Kennedy Calls It Quits: Longtime Swing Justice Hands Trump The Biggest Gift Of His Presidency)
In an article published Saturday, ABC’s Adia Robinson questioned whether Willett’s frequent tweets were a possible indicator that he would have difficulty being impartial.
But with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement on Wednesday, and Willett’s name appearing on a list of Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees, the judge’s frequent tweeting last year raises questions of judicial impartiality.
Robinson also quoted George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who argued that “those types of comments do considerable damage to the integrity of the court.”
The Texas judge has been relatively silent over the last several months on Twitter since joining the Fifth Circuit, but he rang in 2018 by “rick-rolling” his followers with a Rick Astley throwback.
People of Earth—
In 2018, @JusticeWillett will never:
☐ give you up
☐ let you down
☐ run around
☐ desert you
☐ make you cry
☐ say goodbye
☐ tell a lie
☐ hurt you
— Judge Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) January 1, 2018
Other tweets cited as “evidence” in the ABC piece included a photograph of Texas-shaped cornbread, and a conversation with his son, who had confused ‘Eminem’ and ’eminent.’
When you’re tired of cornbread shaped like Colorado and Wyoming. pic.twitter.com/C8Owilw8Ok
— Judge Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) December 30, 2017
11YO—Daddy, why do politicians talk about Eminem’s domain?
ME—That’s eminent domain.
ME—Sorry, you only get one shot.
— Judge Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) December 31, 2017
Willet’s other tweets show a fascination “Calvin and Hobbes,” puns and wordplay, but very few appear to be politically driven.
My law library is complete. pic.twitter.com/VkdKg2iD5I
— Judge Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) September 28, 2017
— Judge Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) December 16, 2017
— Judge Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) March 21, 2015