“I recommend Louisiana native son Kyle Duncan without reservation, and urge his swift confirmation,” said Louisiana' U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, as he introduced the nominee for the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals during Wednesday's confirmation hearing.
Louisiana's other U.S. Senator, John Kennedy, had praise for Duncan as well.
“Mr. Duncan is staunchly and vociferously pro-life. So am I. I like that about him,” Kennedy stated. “Mr Duncan is staunchly and vociferously pro-religious liberty. So am I. I like that about him.”
But Kennedy, who made waves Tuesday by voting against another Trump judicial nominee, also indicated he has reservations about Duncan's nomination, in lieu of other qualified Louisianans. And Kennedy also clarified why he's now swimming against the Republican Party tide.
“I received a series of phone calls from Mr. Don McGahn, who is White House counsel,” Kennedy explained. “And Mr. McGahn was very firm that Mr. Duncan would be the nominee. Mr. Duncan is a Washington lawyer. I hope that he can demonstrate to me today that he is the second coming of Justice (Oliver Wendell) Holme, or Justice Scalia — and not the second cousin of somebody who is politically connected in the Washington swamp.”
“I was born and raised in Louisiana,” Duncan responded. “I was educated in Louisiana, and I'm a double graduate of Louisiana State University — both the undergraduate and the law school. I have spent a significant prime part of my legal career defending the laws Louisiana passed.”
Duncan served as Louisiana Solicitor General from 2008-2012. He is currently leading the state's defense of abortion restriction laws that were passed in 2016, and his co-counsel in that case is Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson.
A Senate Judiciary Committee vote on the nomination is expected next week.