breaking news

Texas softball coach Connie Clark to step down after long run with Longhorns

Trump taps Abbott’s top legal adviser for U.S. appeals court


Andy Oldham has been the governor’s general counsel since early January.

Oldham is Trump’s fifth nominee to the appeals court that covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Gov. Greg Abbott can expect to be looking for a new chief legal adviser for the second time in two months after President Donald Trump on Monday nominated Andy Oldham to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oldham became Abbott’s general counsel Jan. 2 — replacing Jimmy Blacklock, who was appointed by Abbott to fill a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court.

Like a game of political dominoes, the vacancy on the Texas court had opened after Trump nominated Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to the 5th Circuit Court.

Abbott praised Trump’s pick.

“This is an excellent choice of a strict construction constitutionalist. I think he’s even better than Gorsuch,” Abbott wrote on Twitter, referring to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump nominee who joined the high court last April.

Oldham’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: Our Lone Star Politics page brings Capitol news to your Facebook feed

Oldham, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was previously Abbott’s deputy general counsel and also served as deputy solicitor general in the Texas attorney general’s office, where he represented the state in federal courts, including twice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

He had also served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and as an attorney-adviser in the office of legal counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.

While recommendations for federal judge typically come from home-state senators — particularly with a Republican in the White House and Texas represented by GOP Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz — Abbott last year began pressing Trump to nominate Oldham to one of several vacant positions on the 5th Circuit Court, the American-Statesman reported in May.

For his first picks for the appeals court, however, Trump nominated Texans who had been recommended by the state’s senators, Willett and Dallas lawyer Jim Ho, and both were confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December.

Another 5th Circuit Court position opened after Trump nominated Judge Edward Prado to be ambassador to Argentina in January, and Cornyn and Cruz praised the selection of Oldham in a joint statement Monday.

“Andy’s distinguished record of public service at the state and federal level makes him eminently qualified to serve on the 5th Circuit,” Cornyn said. “I look forward to working with Senator Cruz and the rest of my colleagues to swiftly confirm him.”

Trump had previously nominated two from Louisiana to fill the remaining vacancies on the 17-judge 5th Circuit Court, which handles federal appeals from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its judges serve lifetime appointments.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Wilco deputies looking for man who tried to kidnap girl

WILLIAMSON COUNTY Sheriff: Man tried to kidnap girl A man tried to kidnap an 8-year-old girl in the Brushy Creek area Tuesday evening, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said. The girl was near some community mailboxes in the area of O’Connor and Pocono drives when a man parked nearby, grabbed her arm and told her to get into his car, Chody...
Cornyn bill targets prosecution of juvenile sex assaults on base
Cornyn bill targets prosecution of juvenile sex assaults on base

Sen. John Cornyn has filed legislation that seeks to plug a jurisdictional gap on military bases that has allowed hundreds of sexual assaults committed by juveniles to go unprosecuted in recent years and decades. Cornyn is the second Texas lawmaker to push for a solution to the issue, which the American-Statesman revealed in a 2015 investigation. In...
Here are 30 must-see movies from the Paramount Summer Classic series
Here are 30 must-see movies from the Paramount Summer Classic series

More than 110 movies are screening this summer as part of the Paramount Summer Classic film series. Here are 30 not to miss. There are others worth seeing, of course, but are 30 really good ones. “Stormy Weather” (7 p.m. May 31) This 1943 picture remains one of the most important musicals ever made (what with its staggering African-American...
ATX Television Festival launches ‘The TV Campfire’ podcast
ATX Television Festival launches ‘The TV Campfire’ podcast

ATX Television Festival premiered its inaugural podcast series, The TV Campfire, as a part of its ATX TV Podcast Network. The series is co-produced by Madica Productions and provides an insider's perspective into the world of television with special guests including “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town” producer Bill Lawrence, “Wire&rdquo...
Community news: Austin joins global affordability group

TRAVIS COUNTY AUSTIN City joins global affordability group Representatives from the city of Austin’s Economic Development Department will join cultural leaders from around the world to explore and address challenges of urban affordability facing creative communities. The first-ever Leadership Exchange Program, an initiative of the World Cities...
More Stories