AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) — A Texas Supreme Court justice is on Donald Trump’s short list for the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee released a list of 11 potential candidates he is considering to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia, in the event Trump wins the presidency on Nov. 8, 2016. Scalia died in West Texas in February.
On that list, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, who gained followers on social media for his posts about law, Texas and his beloved Baylor Bears.
His impact goes beyond viral tweets: Willett recently authored the Court’s opinion in the school finance lawsuit. In a unanimous decision, justices said standards are up to the legislature, not the court.
In a statement Wednesday, Willett said the following:
I respect all, and personally know several, of the judges listed. Being named alongside them for any purpose is a rich honor. They are exceptional jurists, and importantly, over half have served or are serving in the state judiciary, where most American justice is dispensed.”
Justice Willett told KXAN political reporter Phil Prazan he only just found out through the internet and needed more time to think about it.
Trump’s other possible picks include:
- Steven Colloton of Iowa
- Allison Eid of Colorado
- 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
- Diane Sykes of Wisconsin
Trump said in March he planned to release the list of potential nominees to ease concerns about his conservative credentials in the Republican primary.
He said the list would include judges “that everybody respects, likes and totally admires” and “great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want.”
Last year, we spoke to Justice Willett, who addressed his popularity on Twitter: “Being called the most funny judge on Twitter is like being the tallest munchkin in Oz, or the most camera-shy Kardashian. I’m not sure, but it’s fun.”
Below are some of Willett’s recent tweets: