Conservative Christian legal warrior Kyle Duncan and Chief U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt were nominated Thursday to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Duncan and Engelhardt would replace Judge Eugene Davis, of Lafayette, and another judge expected to take senior status next week. The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit hears appeals from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. President Donald Trump also nominated two from Texas to the 17-seat appellate bench. The president also nominated Barry Ashe, a partner in the New Orleans office of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, to a seat on the federal district court in New Orleans. The president’s choices in Louisiana and around the country have solid conservative backgrounds and good legal credentials, though some nominees were not traditional picks, said Professor Carl Tobias, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Richmond and comments on legal issues in the national media. “Judge Engelhardt is a fairly typical nominee, stepping up from the district court to the appellate court. Kyle Duncan is little more outside the box,” Tobias said, adding that none of those nominated Wednesday likely will receive Senate confirmation hearings before the end of the year because of the long line of judicial nominees ahead of them. A Louisiana native, Duncan practices law in Washington, D.C., specializing in causes involving religious issues and the public sector. He was hired by then Gov. Bobby Jindal to defend a constitutional challenge to a newly passed state law that required doctors who perform abortions to be affiliated with a hospital. Critics said the provision would significantly hamper legal medical procedures to terminate pregnancies. Prior to forming a private law firm, Duncan was general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nationally recognized Washington D.C. public interest law firm. Duncan is best known nationally for representing the Green family, who were evangelical Christians, and their company, Hobby Lobby. The company had challenged the requirement that it be required to provide employees insurance coverage for contraceptive services that they believed would cause abortions based on