Trachtenberg and Cortell: Praise for 5th Circuit Nominees

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10/02/2017

After the White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump will nominate two prominent members of the Texas legal community to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, news outlets quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP appellate Partners Nina Cortell and Mark Trachtenberg on the selections.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Dallas appellate lawyer James Ho emerged from a field of a half-dozen contenders for two open Texas seats on the court, which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Both are highly respected in conservative circles, and were recommended by the state's two Republicans U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, the Chronicle said.

Willett, who worked for George W. Bush in the governor's office and in the White House, was cited by Trump as a potential U.S. Supreme court pick. In Texas, he also is known as a prolific and playful Twitter user, with more than 96,000 followers -- earning him the sobriquet of Texas' "Tweeter Laureate."

Ho, a former Texas solicitor general, is now a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. He also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and worked in the Justice Department under Bush. …

Trachtenberg told the Houston Chronicle that he has appeared before Justice Willett and worked on a case with Jim Ho.

"Both nominees have keen intellects and are excellent writers. I expect both will be well-prepared and thoughtful jurists on the Fifth Circuit," Trachtenberg said.

Texas Lawbook reported that, after receiving a law degree from Duke University, Willett worked for three years in Haynes and Boone’s labor and employment section.

“Both are superior writers, with sharp intellects,” Cortell told Texas Lawbook. “They will be great additions to the court.”

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