Duncan Devotees Target Kennedy

This story was first published for subscribers to LaPolitics Weekly on Nov. 9, 2017. Wish you had read it then? Subscribe now!

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is right where he wants to be. Which is in the middle of a political firestorm, with everyone wondering what he’ll he do next and why.

The Judicial Crisis Network and Americans United For Life rolled out campaigns today to drum up support for the nomination of Kyle Duncan, the president’s choice for Louisiana’s Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. While Kennedy hasn’t been singled out by the campaigns, his silence on Duncan’s nomination has those involved suggesting there’s something amiss about the junior senator from the Bayou State.

Kennedy, officially, is still investigating Duncan’s qualifications and hasn’t made a final decision. Waiting until the last possible moment to make a move is part of Kennedy’s old playbook, and he certainly understands the leverage he holds as the state’s only member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Flacks are working reporters hard and floating the idea that Kennedy’s eventual stance will be some sort of hard-right litmus test.

This certainly isn’t the first time Kennedy’s name was dragged into the Duncan nomination fight. Roughly a month ago, the Louisiana Family Forum urged its followers to contact Kennedy and ask him to support Duncan.    

The Judicial Crisis Network is spending six figures in Louisiana on TV, radio and digital ads in support of Duncan. The ad running now features Attorney General Jeff Landry praising the nominee.

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