AUSTIN (AP) — President Donald Trump has tapped a top official at Texas’ attorney general’s office for a federal judgeship.

First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer was nominated Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The appointment requires U.S. Senate confirmation.

In a statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Judges who rule by the Constitution and the law are desperately needed today, and I am confident a Judge Mateer will faithfully fulfill this duty.”

Mateer became Paxton’s second-in-command last year. Before that, he helped litigate “religious freedom” cases for the conservative First Liberty Institute.

Paxton has been indicted on securities fraud charges and is awaiting trial. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Paxton’s wife, Angela, plans to run for an open Texas Senate seat her husband once occupied.

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