Hobby Lobby’s Anti-Gay Lawyer Confirmed To Lifetime Appointment As Federal Judge

Screengrab/NOLA.com/YouTube

Kyle Duncan has defended voter ID laws, opposed the ACA's contraception mandate, and stands against same-sex marriage.

President Donald Trump’s nominee for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday, but Kyle Duncan’s extreme conservative views have Democrats worried over his ability to be an impartial arbitrator.

Duncan’s record includes defending a voter ID law in North Carolina, opposing the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, and defending a same-sex marriage ban in Louisiana, according to NBC News.

"He is out of the mainstream," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "In fact, he is out of the stream entirely."

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., however, said that some of his Democratic colleagues were confusing the role of lawyer and client. Kennedy noted Duncan had argued more than 30 cases in federal and state appellate courts and represented Louisiana in several high-profile cases. He called Duncan a careful thinker and articulate, adding he does not recognize “the Kyle Duncan being described by some of my colleagues.”

The executive director of Lambda Legal – an organization devoted to protecting the civil rights of the LGBTQ community – released a statement blasting Duncan as someone who has built a career “targeting LGBT children and families”.

“The idea that Mr. Duncan will cast aside his bigoted beliefs overnight, and miraculously transform into an impartial judge, is ludicrous and reckless. His career has been one long grudge match against women and LGBT Americans — now the Trump/Pence Administration is making him a referee,” [Rachel] Tiven added.

Duncan took part in a handful of high-profile cases in recent years, including arguing for the Virginia’s Gloucester County School Board against a transgender student’s right to use the bathroom corresponding to his gender identity; defending Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban in 2014; and writing an amicus brief prior to the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage stating such a decision would “do incalculable damage to our civic life in this country”.

Aside from his involvement in LGBTQ-rights cases, Duncan was lead counsel in the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court, which decided that some corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of a requirement to cover contraceptives for women. He also served as general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which describes its mission as protecting the free expression of all faiths.

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SueB
SueB

I think many of us are having Cognitive Dissonance or Trump Fatigue that is much like PTSD. Please, I pray, to the Universal Oneness, that these tests of our humanity do not go on much longer. Have we learned our lesson? How bad must it get? What will our revolution toward an inclusive, healthy humanity look like? We can no longer be silent.

Starborn1
Starborn1

I feel like I have been kicked in the gut by a fascist. My great-great-great grandfather fought in the American Revolution but the dangerous appointment and subsequent confirmation of such a totally inappropriate judge sickens me to the point where I am seriously considering surrendering my US Citizenship and leaving the United States. This is a betrayal of everything I was raised to love about my country and I am not the only one who is feeling this way. One wonders if we can ever recover from the kind of long term damage Trump and his clueless, reckless supporters are inflicting upon our society. These misguided, hateful people who hide behind the banner of the Bible seek to throttle equality and individuality at any cost by appointing people to public office who only have the support of a minority of our radical citizens. Those who choose to remain in the States and fight back must work hard to remove the influence radical Christianity has on our culture and replace it with the compassion and reason our founders sought for us when they drew up our founding documents.