AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott has announced his general counsel, Jimmy Blacklock, will fill the vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett will create if confirmed by the Senate for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Willet was nominated by President Trump and will likely face confirmation in the next few weeks.

Blacklock, like Justice Willett, served as deputy attorney general for legal counsel under Abbott when he was Texas’ attorney general.

Attorney General Ken Paxton praised Abbott’s decision.

“I am proud of Jimmy’s tireless legacy of defending the liberty of Texans at the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Attorney General,” Paxton said.

“He is a constitutional conservative who will faithfully apply the law and not bend to the desire to rewrite it from the bench. That devotion is absolutely vital for a court that handles so many of Texas’ most important cases.”

Texans for Lawsuit Reform also approved of the governor’s pick.

“Jimmy Blacklock is a serious lawyer whose background and skill will allow him to make an immediate and lasting impact on the Texas Supreme Court,” TLR General Counsel Lee Parsley said.

“Through his work at the highest levels of state and federal government, including serving President George W. Bush and in the Texas Attorney General and Governor’s offices, he has handled some of Texas’ most important and challenging legal issues. His career reflects his strong commitment to public service, the Constitution and the rule of law. He will make an excellent addition to Texas' highest court.”

Blacklock also clerked for 5th Circuit Judge Jerry Smith and served as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice.

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