Judge Amy Coney Barrett

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy lavished praise Thursday on Amy Coney Barrett, after the Metairie native, nominated by President Donald Trump to the U.S. Supreme Court, paid a courtesy call in advance of her confirmation hearing.

Barrett, Cassidy said, “is an exceptional lawyer and judge who will make a terrific Supreme Court justice. I chock that up to her Louisiana upbringing. She has a deep appreciation of the Constitution and will interpret our laws fairly. She will serve our country well.”

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, a Democrat who is challenging the Republican senator, believes that Trump and Republican senators should hold up the appointment until January, as Republicans insisted in 2016 when President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to a vacant seat.

“Senator Cassidy should follow the precedent he set in 2016 and allow the American people to have their say in electing the President and Senators who will nominate and confirm the next Supreme Court Justice,” Perkins said in a statement. “The Court is set to hear an important case which places Americans’ healthcare in jeopardy and it’s important that their voice is heard before a nominee is rushed through.”

Perkins was referring to Republicans’ effort, supported by Cassidy, to overturn the Affordable Care Act in court.

President Trump drew sharp condemnation after failing to denounce white supremacists during Tuesday’s night debate with former Vice President Joe Biden.

Cassidy, a Baton Rouge Republican, was asked whether the next morning whether the president ought to clarify his position.

"I've already said that we should unequivocally condemn white supremacy,” Cassidy said. “Just period. End of story. And I think that all Americans should."

Perkins offered a sharply worded rebuke to the president.

“White supremacy has a heinous chapter in our history that no Louisianan wants to resurrect,” he said in a statement. “When David Duke ran for Governor in Louisiana [in 1991], Republicans and Democrats came together behind the leadership of President George H.W. Bush to reject his candidacy. Today, we must once again reject calls for white supremacists to mobilize. We must look past our differences and reaffirm the shared values that make us Americans.”

Email Tyler Bridges at tbridges@theadvocate.com.