Judge Not, Lest Ye Be…a Judge

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (Self-Portrait)

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (Self-Portrait)

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

The other day the American Bar Association Journal asked a very important judicial question: Is it unseemly that a Texas justice is a big Tweeter? I don’t think they were using a euphemism for something else, and I don’t think they were implying a Texas justice is any less qualified to be a big Tweeter. I hope not, anyway: my mother was from Texas.

What the Journal means is that Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett is approaching his thirteen thousandth Tweet on Twitter. Now I haven’t figured Twitter out, but I always thought it was for famous folk and their fans, for the kind of people who used to sell Ginsu knives on TV, for people who like to report just how many minutes they flossed their teeth today, for people who are just too damn sick of staring at the floor. For people who take a more, shall I say, casual approach to life.

But then Justice Willett is a casual kind of justice: he used to play a little backstick on the drums and ride the rodeo bulls — but, as it turns out, never at the same time. What kind of Supreme Court Justice calls himself “Don” instead of “Donald,” anyway? (Though, there is also a “Phil” and a “Jeff” on that court.)

Can you imagine anyone telling Antonin Scalia, “Hey Tony, would ya shut up a minute and let me talk?” Or “Clare, ya knucklehead, would you ask a question already?”

I can’t agree with that New York City law professor who thinks judges ought to be demure, that it’s the price they pay for being a judge.

I like a comfortable judge, a judge who lives it large.

Here are some of Justice Willett’s (I already can’t stop thinking of him as “Donny”) latest Tweets:

 

God. Got. Game.

God. Got. Game.

 

YESTERDAY—I’m featured in @nytimes Opinion page.

TODAY—NYT says it’s shutting down its Opinion mobile app.

My work here is done.

 

RT if you share my dream of hiring Matthew @mcconaughey as #SCOTX bailiff just so he’ll open court with, “All rise! All rise! All rise!”

 

Small victories.

Small victories.

 

Happy b'day to Thomas Jefferson — who at age 33 wrote the greatest break-up letter of all time.

Happy b’day to Thomas Jefferson — who at age 33 wrote the greatest break-up letter of all time.

 

And my personal favorite:

I like big bundts & I cannot lie.

I like big bundts & I cannot lie.

 

As for the ABA Journal’s question about whether all this is unseemly for a judge?

Donny’s own answer:

I’m going with “No.”

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