Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Kyle Duncan?

Kyle Duncan is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from Louisiana.

Age: 45 (approximate)

Current Position: Partner, Schaerr/Duncan LLP (Washington, D.C.)

Education:

  • J.D., Louisiana State University (1997)

  • LL.M., Columbia University (2004)

Judicial Clerkships: Judge John M. Duhé, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Experience:

  • 1999-2002: Assistant Solicitor General, Texas Attorney General’s Office (Austin, TX)

  • 2004-2008: Assistant Professor of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law (Oxford, MS)

  • 2008-2012: Solicitor General for the State of Louisiana (Baton Rouge, LA)

  • 2012-2014: General Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (Washington, DC)

  • 2014-present: Partner, Schaerr/Duncan LLP (Washington, DC)

Notable matters:

  • Mr. Duncan has extensive appellate litigation experience and has has argued over 30 cases in federal and state appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, and the Louisiana and Texas Supreme Courts. Mr. Duncan has argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • In his capacity as Solicitor General for Louisiana, Mr. Duncan successfully argued Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51 (2011), in the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that the municipality could not be held liable for failure to train its prosecutors to turn over exculpatory evidence on the basis of a single proven violation of that obligation.

  • As General Counsel at The Becket Fund, Mr. Duncan was lead counsel in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014), which protected the conscience rights of business owners. He also successfully defended Louisiana’s marriage laws in Robicheaux v. Caldwell in the Fifth Circuit.

  • As a partner at Share/Duncan, Mr. Duncan was counsel of record in the Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., which considered whether the Department of Education’s guidance that Title IX’s prohibition against “sex” discrimination includes “gender identity” and that a funding recipient providing sex-separated facilities, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, must allow transgender students into the bathroom or locker room of their choice. Mr. Duncan also represented North Carolina legislative leaders in connection with House Bill 2, the “bathroom bill.”

Professional Affiliations: Mr. Duncan is listed as an expert for The Federalist Society, for whom he has spoken about the Supreme Court and appellate law.

Biographical Information: Mr. Duncan is married and has four children.

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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