- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A judge recognized as Texas’ first “Tweeter Laureate” has been confirmed to the federal bench.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved Republican Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to the 5th Court of Appeals. The New Orleans court has been an influential stop for recent, high-profile Texas laws on abortion, voting rights and immigration crackdowns.

An avid tweeter, Willett during the 2016 presidential campaign frequently criticized Donald Trump, who nominated him anyway.

Willett’s zingers about Texas pride, life and the law prompted the state’s Legislature in 2015 to ceremonially name him “Tweeter Laureate.”

Senate Democrats grilled Willett over his past tweets. Meanwhile, some social groups have called him anti-LGBT and women’s rights.

The liberal Alliance for Justice said Willett’s confirmation “will put at risk the rights and protections of millions.”

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