Trump taps Abbott adviser for federal appeals court


President Donald Trump on Monday nominated Andy Oldham, the chief legal adviser to Gov. Greg Abbott, to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oldham was named Abbott’s general counsel on Jan. 2, replacing Jimmy Blacklock, whom Abbott had named to fill a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court caused when Trump named Don Willett to the 5th Circuit Court.

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.

“Andy is a brilliant mind with a strong legal background, having served as legal counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. on the United States Supreme Court,” Abbott said when he named Oldham general counsel.

Abbott praised Trump’s choice on Twitter.

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

In addition to Willett, the U.S. Senate also confirmed Trump nominee Jim Ho — the former solicitor general of Texas — to a seat on the 5th Circuit Court, which handles appeals from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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



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