Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Don Willet Oath

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Monday, November 21, 2005  •  Speech

Thank you.  Chief Justice Jefferson and members of the Texas Supreme Court... members of the judiciary... my fellow statewide elected officials... distinguished members of the Texas Legislature... friends and fellow Texans:...

Today the state of Texas is blessed to welcome a thoughtful, respected and experienced leader to the Texas Supreme Court...
...Justice Don Willett.

To the members of the Willet family, I offer not only my heartfelt congratulations...
...but my sincere thanks for the support you provide that makes his service possible.

Today, Justice Willet marks the high point of a career dedicated to public service. 

He has served as a high-ranking advisor to President Bush... Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States... the chief legal counsel to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott...
...and as of today, as a member of the state’s highest civil court.

I appointed Justice Willet to the court because he has valuable experience enforcing our laws in the public sector...
...and a reputation for taking a thoughtful, scholarly approach to the law.

And in addition to his vast experience, he is a hard worker...
...a bright scholar...
...and a strict constructionist who understands the role of a judge in our democracy is to interpret and apply the law...
...not create it from the bench. 

Justice Willet succeeds an individual who shares that philosophy...
...and who now serves with honor on the federal bench...
...Justice Priscilla Owen. 

Justice Owen, thank you for contributing so much to this state...
...and congratulations.

Some might say that Justice Willet’s career path has been remarkable in spite of his humble beginnings in the small town of Talty, Texas. 

But I would say that where the journey began has a lot to do with where it has taken him.

It was in that small community that he learned values like integrity, hard work, and responsibilty from the loving example of a mother who modeled them every day of his life. 

They are the same values that continue to guide him today...
...and that is why I know he will be an outstanding Supreme Court Justice for the people of Texas.

At this time, it is my honor to ask Justice Willet and his family to step forward for the oath of office.

Please raise your right hand and repeat after me.

I, Don Willett... do solemnly swear... that I will faithfully execute the duties... of the office of Justice of the Supreme Court of the state of Texas... and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend... the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State... so help me God.

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