Among President Trump's growing list of excellent lower court nominees, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett -- whom the president has tapped to join the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals -- is perhaps the most beloved by grassroots conservatives. Part of the reason why is Willett's highly entertaining Twitter feed, which offers a fun blend of observations on topics ranging from constitutional law, to sports, silly cultural phenomena. Eschewing the role of stuffy conservative judge, Willett is known for flashing his good-natured humor, which has helped earn him more than 100,000 followers. One of his tweets from 2015 triggered a ridiculous grilling (see what I did there?) from Vermont liberal Sen. Patrick Leahy, who insisted that by publishing this message the day after the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision, Willett was disrespecting SCOTUS precedent and seriously comparing same-sex marriage to, uh, marrying bacon:
I could support recognizing a constitutional right to marry bacon. pic.twitter.com/HKPW6tE4H6— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) April 30, 2015
Willett politely attempted to explain that this was what is commonly known as 'a joke,' designed to inject some "levity" in the midst of a divisive debate over a fresh and controversial decision (via the Free Beacon):
WILLETT: "Senator, as for the bacon tweet, that was the day after the Obergefell decision was issued and it was my attempt to inject a bit of levity. The country was filled with rancor and polarization. It was a divisive time in the nation."
LEAHY: "And you think that cut back the divisiveness with a comment like that?"
WILLETT: "Senator, I believe every American is entitled to equal worth and dignity. I've never intended to disparage anyone and would never do so. That's not where my heart is."
To his credit, this is far more polite than I would have been. I'd have been tempted to blurt out something, like "are you kidding me? Does anyone have a legitimate question about something serious?" Unless you're a humorless left-wing scold, here's what obviously happened: With people on various sides of an emotional social issue raging at each other, Willett used the moment to make a unifying crack about America's shared love of bacon. I'm half surprised Leahy didn't follow up with accusation that the pork-joke was insensitive to devout Jews and Muslims. In any case, this criticism was absurdly weak sauce. They've got nothing on him. Willett has been rated 'well qualified' for the position (the highest available rating) by the liberal-leaning American Bar Association, and he will be confirmed. The judicial wars have been a very bright spot of the Trump presidency thus far: