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The article below has been republished in full courtesy of Law360, written by Y. Peter Kang.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett is a top judge who is also a rare social media all-star with a busy Twitter feed that includes several cracks at presumptive presidential candidate Donald Trump — who on Wednesday placed Justice Willett on his list of 11 potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees. The fodder for myriad online articles may seem like a faux pas for the web-savvy justice but actually falls well within his own rules on what's fair game to post, tweet or blog about. While mocking your potential future boss may seem like a big no-no, especially as a member of the judiciary, Justice Willett’s tweets about Trump — including posting an image of the Death Star and fake-quoting “Darth Trump” saying, "We'll rebuild the Death Star. It'll be amazing, believe me. And the rebels will pay for it." — never break any of his own guidelines outlined in a February piece for the Texas Bar Journal advising judges what not to do on social media. Bottom line, the justice advised, don’t talk about pending cases. Nothing in Justice Willett’s tweets can be remotely construed as anything more than humorous jabs worthy of any late night talk show host. The justice does advise, however, to use social media to engage with the community and raise visibility. It’s pretty clear from the dozens of news articles written Wednesday about his funny Twitter posts — some dating back as far as March 2015 when Trump wasn’t even considered the Republican front-runner — that Justice Willett has more than raised his profile. Justice Willett, who was jokingly recognized last June as his state’s first Tweeter Laureate by the Texas Legislature in a House resolution filled with hashtags and inside jokes, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The justice on Wednesday was present at a book signing for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott but declined to comment on the potential nomination, simply saying, “I'm exercising judicial restraint," according to a tweet by a Texas Tribune reporter. Here, Law360 shares some selections from Judge Willet’s Trump-themed tweets:
The above article has been republished in full and is courtesy of Law360. For the latest breaking news and analysis on energy industry legal issues, visit Law360 today.