Kyle Duncan has spent his career fighting against reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality, defending discriminatory voting laws, and dismantling protections for immigrants. As a private attorney, he submitted briefs opposing marriage equality, access to abortion and contraception, and a path to citizenship for the children of immigrants. Since being appointed to the Fifth Circuit by Trump, Duncan has continued his efforts to undermine these and other critical rights and protections. For example, as a judge, he has expressed extreme hostility towards LGBTQ people, including by refusing to correct the record so that a plaintiff’s name on her judgement of conviction reflected her name and gender following her transition. He was also the deciding vote to block a district court from allowing discovery of critical information related to an employer’s violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The lawsuit was brought after the employer failed to classify a number of employees as eligible for overtime pay as required by the FLSA.
Since his confirmation to the Fifth Circuit, Duncan has issued several harmful rulings:
- In Fusilier v. Landry, Duncan would have voted to reverse a district court decision that had found that Black voters in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana had diluted voting power in state court elections and were unable to elect a judge of their choice to the trial court bench. Duncan would have argued the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue.
- In In re: Abbott, Duncan voted to allow a ban on abortions to take effect in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a district court finding that it would cause “irreparable harm.” Under the prohibition, violations would result in 180 days of jail or a $1000 fine.
- In Inclusive Communities Project. v. Lincoln Dev. Co., Duncan voted to undermine the Fair Housing Act, making it very difficult to bring disparate impact claims.
- In Cole v. Carson, Duncan dissented from an August ruling by the full court that a permanently injured teenager and his parents receive a trial on their claims that police officers used excessive force in shooting him. After Ryan Cole, a 17-year-old, pointed a gun at his own head during an acute suicidal moment, two police officers shot him multiple times. As a result, Cole now suffers permanent “cognitive impairment, partial paralysis, and other serious mental and physical injuries.
The Alliance for Justice strongly opposes the consideration of Kyle Duncan for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.