U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) introduced Baton Rouge native Kyle Duncan at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
CASSIDY: I come today to voice my strong support for Louisiana native son Kyle Duncan, to serve as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is well qualified and he is well prepared.
He’s here today with his family, his wife Martha, four of his children, Joseph, Thomas, Michael, Rosemary in the beautiful red dress, and four-year-old Andrew is not here.
Mr. Duncan was born and raised in Baton Rouge. He is a graduate of McKinley High School, which is an inner-city school that my children attended, my son graduated from, that I can actually hear their band on Friday night as they play from my front door. …
He graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University and then went on to get his law degree from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center where he was the executive senior editor of the LSU Law Review. He also graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif. After law school, Mr. Duncan clerked for the Honorable Judge John Duhé, Jr. on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He went on to further his legal education by earning an LLM from Columbia University. Extremely well qualified.
He has accrued career experience in all three states that make up the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as assistant solicitor general at the Texas attorney general’s office, taught at the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford, Mississippi, and then went on to be special counsel for the state of Louisiana before entering a successful private practice.
Throughout his career, Mr. Duncan has been involved in a variety of civil and criminal cases, and has wide subject-matter expertise that has prepared him for a seat on the circuit court.
Senator Feinstein found fault that he represented Hobby Lobby. But in my mind since the Supreme Court agreed with Hobby Lobby that means the Constitution’s meaning was advanced, and this is not a criticism but rather a badge of honor.
Throughout his career, his cases have run the gamut, from maritime, criminal, contracts, property, healthcare, business, Section 1983 claims, adoptions, false imprisonments, ADA regulations, privacy, and the list goes on. He will be well prepared from day one to handle any type of case that comes before him.
He has extensive litigation experience in federal and state courts, including arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which I gather is what has brought him to this area.
And Mr. Duncan has also appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuit Courts, and the Louisiana and Texas Supreme Courts.
Mr. Duncan has excelled in every role he has taken in the legal field. I have every confidence he will continue to excel in that role. He has the ability to understand complex litigation, and the integrity to rule fairly based on the facts as presented and the law as written.
Now let me speak a little bit about his selection process, because Senator Kennedy, who is my good friend, kind of has raised questions about that.
I’m a gastroenterologist, what do I know about the law? So what I did was I appointed a committee of attorneys, business folks, who would then make the selection for us. We took 12 members of Louisiana, most of them attorneys, from across our state, and formed a committee in which all applicants for this would come before.
There’s like 16 different people who applied for this, maybe more. Of those, all excellent. They selected the three best.
Among their criteria are, “do these people represent Louisiana?” And are, if you will, as Senator Franken said, the kind of atmosphere of us. And those 12 attorneys chose Mr. Duncan along with two or three or four other people whose names I submitted.
Those representatives of the legal profession in my state chose Mr. Duncan as being among the best of the best.
Senator Kennedy had a chance to look at those. We then submitted them to the White House and they chose among that list. I did not designate, rather, the committee chose.
And I felt like this was a way to remove politics. It is at arm’s length from me, it removes politics and has a chance for getting the best person.
Let me emphasize it is made up of community leaders, it actually has Democrats on it, business women and men of varying ages across the political spectrum.
Now, part of that by the way is that a resume might look good, but a peer has the ability to shed light on someone’s true character and ability, better than a resume and better than a gastroenterologist, which is why I chose them.
Mr. Duncan, they decided, was exactly the caliber of jurist that our country needs to serve in our federal courts. His character shines brightly at a time when our country needs to see good men and women using their talents for public service, and the good for others.
I recommend Louisiana native son Kyle Duncan to this committee without reservation and urge his swift confirmation through this committee and the Senate.