Don Willett ‘88 of Austin is a Texas Supreme Court Justice who will celebrate his 50th birthday on July 16. Justice Willett is the most avid social media-using judge in America, “which is like being the tallest Munchkin in Oz,” he jokes.
Justice Willett describes himself on Twitter as “Supreme Court Justice and Tweeter Laureate of Texas. Former rodeo bull rider. Fluent in legalese. Extravagantly blessed husband and cofounder of 3 wee Willetts.” And he adds “former drummer” to his bio on Instagram.
The Tweeter Laureate description is an honor the Texas House of Representatives bestowed on him in 2015—he’s tweeted 21,700 times and has 53,000 followers. This Gen X-er, though, combines online savvy with on-the-bench horsepower. Justice Willett made news in May when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump included him on a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees—despite some waggish, jesting tweets about The Donald from the conservative judge. Other conservative luminaries, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Pulitzer-winning commentator George Will, have also urged the next GOP president to name Justice Willett to the nation’s High Court.
A native Texan and the son of a widowed mom who waited tables to support her family, Justice Willett earned a triple-major BBA from Baylor and then triple degrees from Duke University (J.D. with honors, M.A. in political science, and earlier this year an LL.M. in Judicial Studies). Justice Willett (link to bio) was named Outstanding Young Alumnus of Baylor University in 2005 and received the Price Daniel Distinguished Public Service Award from the Baylor Alumni Association in 2012.
- Current Phone: iPhone 6. I’m not a pre-release sidewalk camper. I’m stingy with my upgrade dollars and only pull the trigger every 2-3 years.
- Number of icons and folders on your home screen? A bajillion icons, meticulously organized in a gazillion folders.
- Number of unread e-mails: Yahoo: 40,656. Campaign: 7,539. Ignorance is bliss.
- Search engine of choice: Google
First app checked in the morning: Twitter
- Last app checked before bedtime: Twitter
- Most used app: Twitter
- App most likely to be viewed while in a checkout line: Twitter
- Most essential app while traveling: Twitter and Uber
- Cities listed in weather app: Austin, Beaver Creek, NYC, London, Chicago, Wolfeboro (New Hampshire), Berlin, DC, Durham (North Carolina), New Orleans, Boston, Kailua, Seattle, and Antarctica (-69 right now)
- Favorite shopping app: Amazon Prime
- Favorite photo filter: X-Pro II & Hefe
- Favorite podcast: BackStory, Freakonomics, Stuff You Should Know, This American Life. (I haven’t started Serial yet.)
- Most surprising app you depend on: Sky Guide (a beautifully designed astronomy app.
- Person you FaceTime most often: My cherubic, iridescent bride (Tiffany, a graduate of Evangel University who received Baylor Alumni by Choice status in 2003 ).
- Most common Siri command: “Siri, what’s the forecast?”
- Most listened-to artist on my favorite music service: Hamilton soundtrack, George Strait, and Taylor Swift when my daughter is with me.
- Outgoing voice mail message: Just me. Short & sweet. People know what to do. My dream is to get Lin-Manuel Miranda to drop a fire freestyle rap message.
- App I wish someone would invent: The “Let Daddy Sleep” app
Average amount of data you use each month and do you keep an eye on it: No clue, but a colossal amount no doubt. Thankfully, the Tweeter Laureate has UNLIMITED data!
- Frequency of recharging and have you found a particularly fast/good charger? My iPhone is always charging when I’m in the car or on my MacBook––and overnight on the bedside table. My go-to portable charger is the Jackery––small and fast.
- Most embarrassing song on your phone: 3-way tie: Bust a Move by Young MC, Super Freak by Rick James, and Just a Friend by Biz Markie.
Does your life revolve around your phone? If you – or someone you know – is mobile-device “dependent,” you might be a great candidate for What’s On Your Phone? Let us know by dropping us a line at [email protected].