The Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) is accustomed to dealing with judges unconstrained by the law. As suggested by the THSC Judicial Wall of Shame, THSC is not timid about expressing its opinion of a judge’s actions based on facts. Although many times this focused expression is on the shameful, it is also important to remember that there are judges who will stand in the gap and defend Texas law and Texas families. Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett is just that; he serves as a blessing to the families of the state of Texas.
We are honored to announce Justice Willett as our Gala speaker on November 7.
As a young adult, Don Willett moved from his small town to Baylor University where he completed a triple major Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree. From there he transferred to Duke University to complete his graduate school degrees. At Duke, he completed his Master of Arts degree in political science as well as his Juris Doctorate with honors. Following both graduate school and law school, he worked as a clerk and practiced law in Austin. It was in Austin where he began to establish his reputation as a conservative and upstanding attorney.
In 1993, Justice Willett served as an attorney with George W. Bush’s administration during the former President’s time as the Governor of Texas. Justice Willett relocated to Washington DC as a Special Assistant to the President at the White House when former Governor Bush became the President of the United States in 2001. During this time, Justice Willett provided President Bush with legal counsel on religious liberty and other issues concerning the people of the United States.
From 2002 to 2003, Justice Willett served as the deputy assistant attorney general for Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. From this position he advised the President in the selection and nomination of judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. While serving at the Department of Justice, he supervised many different projects, including the PROTECT act of 2003, which was designed to protect children from abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
Upon returning to Texas in 2003, Justice Willett became the deputy attorney general for the then newly elected Attorney General of Texas, Greg Abbott. Serving Texas families, Willett led many of the committees and divisions that were influential in handling the major issues facing conservative Texans. Justice Willett was involved in the defense of religious liberty through both cases concerning the removal of the phrase “under God” from the pledge of allegiance, and the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Texas Capitol grounds. Due to his tireless efforts, neither were removed.
In 2005, Don Willett was appointed by then Governor Rick Perry as Justice for the Supreme Court of Texas, place 2. Most recently, Justice Willett attracted national attention with his dissenting opinion on a case that would decide if same-sex married couples that married in other states could legally divorce in the State of Texas. He simultaneously defended traditional marriage and the Texas Constitution by stating that not only was the joining of a same-sex couple unconstitutional, but so was the divorce of a same-sex couple. Granting divorce to a same-sex married couple consequently assumes that the two people were married, regardless of gender. In accordance with the Texas constitution, Justice Willett believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Justice Willett serves our state of Texas alongside his wife Tiffany and their three children, Jacob, Shane-David, and Genevieve, while residing near Austin.
We look forward to a wonderful evening as we come together to encourage and support one another in the fight in Keeping Texas Families Free. I hope you will attend our Gala this year with Justice Willett. Please consider joining us for this special evening.