the WHITE HOUSEPresident Donald J. Trump

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Donald J. Trump Announces Eighth Wave of Judicial Candidates

Today the President announced his intent to nominate these nine individuals to the following Federal judgeships.

If confirmed, Stuart Kyle Duncan of Louisiana will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Kyle Duncan is currently a partner at Schaerr Duncan LLP, where he represents clients in trial and appellate litigation. Before joining the firm, Mr. Duncan served for two years as general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where he managed Becket’s nationwide public-interest litigation. Mr. Duncan previously served for three years as the Solicitor General and Appellate Chief of the Louisiana Department of Justice, where he represented Louisiana in a wide range of appellate matters in State and Federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Before that, Mr. Duncan spent four years as an assistant professor of law at the University of Mississippi Law School. Mr. Duncan also spent two years as an associate-in-law at Columbia University Law School, three years as an Assistant Solicitor General in the Office of the Solicitor General in the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and one year in the appellate practice group at Vinson & Elkins LLP. After graduating from law school, Mr. Duncan clerked for Louisiana-based Circuit Judge John M. Duhé, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mr. Duncan has argued two cases in the United States Supreme Court, and has acted as lead counsel in numerous other cases in that Court, including Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751 (2014), in which he successfully led litigation challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate on behalf of Hobby Lobby Stores. Mr. Duncan earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from Louisiana State University and his J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and served as executive senior editor of the Louisiana Law Review. Mr. Duncan subsequently earned an LL.M. from Columbia University Law School.

If confirmed, Kurt D. Engelhardt of Louisiana will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Kurt Engelhardt currently serves as the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He was nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2001. During his tenure on the bench, Judge Engelhardt has served on the Judicial Conference Committee of Federal-State Jurisdiction, first appointed to that Committee by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2004, and re-appointed for a second term by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2007. He also served as President of the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association from 2011 to 2012. Before his appointment to the district court, Judge Engelhardt practiced commercial litigation in private practice—first at the law firm of Little & Metzger and later at Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann & Papale LLP. While in private practice, he was appointed by the governor to serve on the Louisiana Judiciary Commission, which adjudicates statewide ethics complaints against judges. In 1998, the members of the Commission elected him to serve as its Chairman. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Engelhardt served as a law clerk to Judge Charles Grisbaum, Jr., on the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. He earned his B.A. and J.D. from Louisiana State University.

If confirmed, James C. Ho of Texas will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Jim Ho is currently a partner in the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he serves as co-chair of the firm’s appellate and constitutional law practice group. Before joining the firm, Mr. Ho served as Solicitor General of Texas in the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. Before relocating to Texas, Mr. Ho served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and as Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator John Cornyn on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Ho also served in the U.S. Department of Justice, first as a special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and then as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Ho served as a law clerk to Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He earned a B.A. in Public Policy, with honors, from Stanford University and a J.D., with high honors, from the University of Chicago Law School.

If confirmed, Don R. Willett of Texas will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Justice Don Willett currently serves as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court. He was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Governor Perry in 2005, and was then elected to that position by the people of Texas in 2006 and 2012. Before assuming judicial office, Justice Willett held several other positions of public service. From 2003 to 2005, he was a Deputy Attorney General and chief legal counsel to the Attorney General of Texas, and before that, was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. Previously, Justice Willett served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Law & Policy in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. From 1996 to 2000, Justice Willett was Director of Research & Special Projects for Governor Bush. Before entering public service, he practiced labor and employment law in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Justice Willett clerked for Judge Jerre S. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Justice Willett is a member of the American Law Institute and recently served as editor-in-chief of Judicature—The Scholarly Journal for Judges. He earned a B.B.A. from Baylor University, and then three degrees from Duke University: J.D. with honors, M.A. in political science, and LL.M. in Judicial Studies.

If confirmed, Gregory E. Maggs of Virginia will serve as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Professor Greg Maggs currently serves as the Arthur Selwyn Miller Research Professor of Law and Co-Director of the National Security & U.S. Foreign Relations Law LL.M. Program at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he has taught since 1993. At GWU, Professor Maggs teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, counterterrorism, military justice, and national security law. He is the co-author of a leading military law casebook, Modern Military Justice: Cases and Materials, and has published two related books, along with dozens of articles in the fields of constitutional law and national security. In addition to his academic work, Professor Maggs serves as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He received his commission in 1990 and was mobilized from 2007 to 2008. From 2007 to 2017, Professor Maggs served as a reserve trial and appellate military judge. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony M. Kennedy and to Judge Joseph T. Sneed of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Maggs earned his A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and was designated a John Harvard Scholar, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, where he served as articles co-chair of the Harvard Law Review. He also earned a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

If confirmed, Barry W. Ashe of Louisiana will serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Barry Ashe is a partner in the New Orleans office of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C., where his practice spans a broad range of complex civil and commercial law matters, in both State and Federal courts, at trial and on appeal. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Ashe served as a law clerk to Judge Carolyn Dineen King on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Prior to enrolling in law school, Mr. Ashe served for three years in the U.S. Navy, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant and received an honorable discharge. Mr. Ashe earned his B.A. from Tulane University, summa cum laude, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, and his J.D. from Tulane Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and served as the senior managing editor of the Tulane Law Review.

If confirmed, Daniel D. Domenico of Colorado will serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Dan Domenico currently serves as managing partner of Kittredge LLC. From 2006 to 2015, Mr. Domenico served as the Solicitor General of Colorado, where he oversaw major litigation for the State and represented governors from both political parties. During his time as Solicitor General, he argued in State and Federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, and received the Supreme Court Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest state solicitor general in the country, and his nine years of service made him the longest serving solicitor general in Colorado history. He has also served as an adjunct professor of natural resources and advanced constitutional law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. Earlier in his career, Mr. Domenico was a law clerk to Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and an associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP. A native of Boulder, he earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and served as an editor of the Virginia Law Review.

If confirmed, Howard C. Nielson, Jr., of Utah will serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. Howard Nielson is currently a partner at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Nielson served in the U.S. Department of Justice, first as Counsel to the Attorney General and later as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. In addition, Mr. Nielson has taught courses in constitutional litigation, national security law, foreign relations law, and federal courts as a Distinguished Lecturer at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Earlier in his career, Mr. Nielson served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States and to Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Mr. Nielson received his B.A. with university honors and summa cum laude from Brigham Young University and his J.D. with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as Articles Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.

If confirmed, Ryan T. Holte of Ohio will serve as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Professor Ryan Holte currently serves as the David L. Brennan Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology at the University of Akron School of Law. Professor Holte teaches and researches in the areas of property and intellectual property law and is a recognized expert in these areas, completing numerous academic research fellowships and funded research grants. He also serves as general counsel, partner, and co-inventor of an electrical engineering technology company. Before joining the law faculty at Akron, Professor Holte served for four years on the faculty at Southern Illinois University School of Law, worked as a trial attorney at the United States Federal Trade Commission, and practiced law as an associate at Jones Day. He clerked for Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and Judge Loren A. Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Professor Holte earned his B.S. in engineering, magna cum laude, from the California Maritime Academy, and his J.D. from the University of California Davis School of Law, where he served as a staff editor of the UC Davis Business Law Journal.

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