Local News

Raleigh's Duncan Earns 4th Circuit Nomination

Posted May 30, 2003

— After years of political infighting, it appears North Carolina soon will be represented on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 4th Circuit.

Former Sen. Jesse Helms and Sen. John Edwards held up previous nominations. But now Helms' successor, Elizabeth Dole, and Edwards agree on a nominee.

She's Allyson Duncan, who spoke to WRAL's David Crabtree during lunch Thursday with her friend, Sen. Dole.

"It's big," Dole said of Duncan's nomination. "It's a very important time."

Said Duncan: "I'm very honored."

Duncan is the president of the State Bar Association. A Duke graduate and former judge, Duncan practices law in Raleigh. She once taught at North Carolina Central's law school, carrying on a family tradition.

"My mother taught at the law school at N.C. Central for over 20 years," Duncan said. "She taught a number of people -- Frank Ballance, Mickey Micheaux."

If confirmed, Duncan would become the first African-American female to serve on the 4th Circuit.

"Just the prospect of serving on it is almost outside the range of my expectations," Duncan said.

Over dessert, the 51-year-old Republican called her nomination "awe inspiring" and "a dream come true.

"It truly is," she said. "That's why awe inspiring is not too strong a term. Even more than exciting because it is the pinnacle of a legal career."

Hearings on the Duncan nomination could start before the end of summer.

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