January 10, 2018

VIDEO: Cassidy Introduces Two Louisiana Judicial Nominees at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON: U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) introduced Louisiana natives Kurt Engelhardt and Barry Ashe at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on their nominations. President Trump nominated Engelhardt to serve as a U.S. circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and Ashe to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Cassidy previously introduced Louisiana judicial nominees Terry Doughty, Michael Juneau, and Kyle Duncan at their respective hearings.

Full transcripts of Cassidy’s remarks at today’s hearing are below.

Introduction of Kurt Engelhardt

CASSIDY: I have the pleasure to strongly support two candidates. First I’ll speak of Judge Kurt Engelhardt, who’s been nominated to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Engelhardt will serve very well as he moves from the district bench to the appellate court.

Ann Engelhardt joins Kurt today. They celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary Monday, so congratulations to them.

Judge Engelhardt was born in New Orleans, earned a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, where he was also in the LSU Golden Band from Tigerland. He earned a juris doctorate from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

After law school, Kurt clerked for Judge Charles Grisbaum in the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, then practiced law at Little & Metzger in Metairie, before becoming an associate and then partner at Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann and Papale in Metairie.

In 2001, Kurt was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, where he has been the chief judge since 2015.

Judge Engelhardt has been an active member of the New Orleans chapter of the Federal Bar Association, serving on the board of directors for 10 years and chapter president in 2011. He has active memberships in the Federal District Judges Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the New Orleans Bar Association, the Jefferson Bar Association, and the Fifth Circuit District Judges Association.

In 2004, Judge Engelhardt was appointed by the Supreme Court to serve on the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction for two terms. He has also served on the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Judiciary Commission.

Judge Engelhardt is also active in the New Orleans community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans for more than 20 years. 

Judge Engelhardt is the kind of fair-minded, experienced person we need serving in the judiciary. He has served the people of Louisiana and his fellow American well as an Article III judge for the past 17 years, and will continue to serve with the same high standards on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Again, I strongly recommend Judge Engelhardt for this position without hesitation and look forward to a swift confirmation by this committee and the full Senate.

Introduction of Barry Ashe

CASSIDY: I am similarly pleased to support Barry Ashe, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  He has the qualifications and experience required.

He’s joined here today by his wife, Susan, as well as their three children, Kelly, Stephen, Catherine, Catherine’s husband Aaron, Barry’s brother Glenn and his wife Rachel.

Mr. Ashe was born and raised in New Orleans, attended Tulane University, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude. He then served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare-qualified line officer.

Mr. Ashe then returned to attend Tulane Law School, and there was the senior managing editor of the Tulane Law Review before graduating with his juris doctorate, Order of the Coif, magna cum laude.

After law school, Mr. Ashe clerked for Judge Carolyn King of the Fifth Circuit, then joined the New Orleans law firm of Stone, Pigman, Walther and Wittmann. He has practiced law there for more than three decades as a commercial litigator and appellate specialist. His significant experience with jury trials, bench trials, appeals and mediations will inform his work as a judge.

Mr. Ashe has been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the U.S., the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, all three United States Federal District Courts in the state of Louisiana, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Ashe has received numerous accolades for legal work. [He was] recently recognized as one of the 2018 best lawyers in America for both appellate practice and commercial litigation, and was listed in New Orleans Magazine among the top lawyers in appellate practice and bet-the-company litigation. He was also named one of the top 50 lawyers in Louisiana and New Orleans by Louisiana Super Lawyers.

Mr. Ashe has also served the greater New Orleans area by other means. He’s been a deacon and trustee at the First Baptist Church of New Orleans for decades, has served on the boards of the Global Maritime Ministries and the Christian Health Ministries Foundation. He teaches commercial litigation and constitutional law at Loyola University Law School.

Mr. Ashe is an excellent choice to fill this vacancy in the Eastern District of Louisiana. I recommend him to this committee without reservation and urge his swift confirmation.