Texas justice is probably America's most avid judicial Tweeter; is it unseemly?

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Updated: Texas Justice Don Willett has posted more than 12,800 tweets as @JusticeWillett since joining Twitter in 2009.

That number, Willett tells the New York Times, makes him “probably the most avid judicial tweeter in America.”

Many judges avoid online commentary, but not Willett, who says he nonetheless avoids comments on legal issues that might come before him as well as partisan politics. He comments on family activities, sports, Blue Bell ice cream and a host of other topics. He tweets to stay connected to voters in a state where the judges are elected.

The Times raises the question whether the frequent tweets create “a general impression of casualness unbefitting a jurist.” It notes a 2013 tweet by Willett showing a bundt cake with the caption, “I like big bundts & I cannot lie.” The line references an explicit rap song, the Times explains. In a tweet, Willett responds, “My wife just now: ‘It’s every wife’s dream for her husband to be linked to Sir Mix-A-Lot in the @NYTimes.’ “

The newspaper spoke with New York University law professor Stephen Gillers, who said that “judges are expected to live their lives in a more demure way; it’s part of the price you pay in being a judge.” Above the Law founder David Lat, on the other hand, said society benefits when judges can express themselves outside of their judicial duties.

Willett’s response to the debate:

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ABAJournal.com: “Texas justice illustrates his Twitter prowess with character-limit interview”

Updated at 12:03 p.m. to add Willett’s response tweet.

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