In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Kyle S. Duncan and Judge Kurt Engelhardt to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Duncan is currently a partner at Schaeer Duncan LLP in Washington D.C. while Judge Engelhardt serves as the Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Just recently, two industry groups in Louisiana approved of President Trump’s nominees. The Louisiana Association of Business Industry (“LABI”) and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (“LOGA”) officially endorsed Duncan and Chief Judge Engelhardt in November 2017. Both LABI and LOGA are strong advocates for developing incentives and legislation that support economic growth in Louisiana, especially through the production of oil and gas.
LABI’s President and CEO Stephen Waguespack recently stated to the Louisiana Record that, “A judge must be attentive and dedicated to ensuring that each litigant gets the finest the system can offer; only then will the process move smoothly and fairly. These individuals have proven their steadfast commitment to a system that not only works, but one that is fair and committed to the rule of law.”
LOGA President Don Briggs provided his opinion regarding President Trump’s nominees by stating, “The leadership, experience, and knowledge that Mr. Duncan and Judge Engelhardt possess cannot be overstated. As the business and industry community looks to clean up the legal environment in order to attract more jobs and investment in Louisiana, it is imperative that we confirm fair and impartial judges that realize the value that businesses bring to our great state.”
Waguespack believes that since Federal judges are appointed for life, it is important that any judicial nominee is one who interprets the law in a fair and impartial manner. He stated that, “With the growth of governmental regulations and lawsuits against individuals and businesses coming from all levels of government, it is more important than ever that we have individuals appointed who can weigh the issues and make rational and sound decisions.”
Mr. Duncan’s Senate hearing was held on November 28th while Judge Engelhardt is still waiting for his official Senate hearing. Both nominees are expected to be approved by the Senate without issue.