Bench Memos

Potential Judicial Picks from Texas

Among the judicial vacancies facing President Trump are two Texas seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. According to the Texas Lawyer, a committee is about to begin work vetting potential nominees for these vacancies. Among those likely under consideration are Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor, former Texas solicitor general James Ho, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s deputy general counsel Andy Oldham, and two state appellate court judges, Michael Massengale and Brett Busby. Fifth Circuit court watcher Jason Steed thinks Willett and Ho are the leading candidates, and that seems to me like a reasonable initial assessment. Willett, after all, was on President Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court justices, and Ho is an accomplished and well-connected appellate lawyer who worked for Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.