Don Willett for the Supreme Court!

At Forbes.com, George Leef asks, “Who would you like to see as the next Supreme Court justice?” He recommends Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, and I wholeheartedly agree.

As I noted in a previous LockerRoom post, Justice Willett’s concurrence is the high point in a recent ruling by the Texas Supreme Court that is exemplary throughout. In his Forbes piece, George explains what makes Justice Willett’s concurrence so remarkable:

The case, Patel et al v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation involved a challenge by several “eyebrow threaders” to state regulations that imposed utterly pointless costs on them. Although the court struck down the regulations, thus freeing the individuals to operate their small businesses as they deem best, Justice Willett took the opportunity to pen a concurrence that leaves absolutely no doubt about his judicial philosophy.

“This case,” he wrote, “concerns far more than whether Ashish Patel can pluck unwanted hair with a strand of thread. This case is fundamentally about the American Dream and the unalienable right to pursue happiness without curtsying to government on bended knee. It is about whether government can connive with rent-seeking factions to ration liberty unrestrained and whether judges must submissively uphold even the most risible encroachments.” …

Willett’s opinion is a devastating rebuke to the idea, going back to “progressives” like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., that judges should defer to whatever laws and regulations the political system coughs up. It is also a rebuke to the statist idea that our rights and liberties come from government. …

It’s a delight to read an opinion such as Willett’s where the judge understands that the reason for government is to protect life, liberty, and property.

 

Jon Guze / Senior Fellow, Legal Studies

Jon Guze is the Director of Legal Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, Jon practiced law in Durham, North Carolina for over twent...