Gov. Perry Names Don Willett to Texas Supreme Court
Gov. Rick Perry today named Don R. Willett of Austin, chief legal counsel to the Texas Attorney General and former advisor to President Bush, to the Texas Supreme Court.
"Don Willett has earned the trust of the President of the United States, the Attorney General of Texas, and my confidence as governor because he is a hard worker, a bright scholar, and strict constructionist who understands the role of a judge is to interpret and apply the law, not create it from the bench," Perry said. "By virtue of the fact that Don Willett has valuable experience enforcing our laws in the public sector and a reputation for taking a thoughtful, scholarly approach to the law, he will make an outstanding justice on the Texas Supreme Court."
Willett has served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States, an advisor to President Bush, and currently as chief legal counsel to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. He also is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the First Amendment Institute and serves on the advisory board of the Federalist Society. Willett is on the National Steering Committee for the Bush Presidential Library and the state steering committee for the Texas Review of Law and Politics.
"Justice Willett joins a long and distinguished list of previous justices whose appointment to a high court was the first time they put on the robe, including Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson of the Texas Supreme Court, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court," Perry said. "His appointment will allow the court to benefit not only from his unique combination of skills and expertise but also a more diverse array of professional backgrounds."
Active in the community, Willett serves on the boards of the National Fatherhood Institute, SafePlace and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. He is a graduate of Baylor University and received a master's degree and law degree from Duke University.
The vacancy on the bench was created by the appointment of Justice Priscilla Owen as a federal judge. This appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.