President Donald Trump announced his decision to nominate an Indian-American judge to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Amul Thapar, who was on President Trump’s shortlist for Supreme Court nominees back in November, is being nominated to the Sixth Circuit, according to statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.
“I applaud the President for announcing his intent to nominate my friend, Judge Amul Thapar, to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals,” McConnell said in a statement March 20. “Throughout his already impressive career of public service, Amul has shown an incredible intellect and an unshakable dedication to the law. He has earned the respect of his colleagues, and I know that he will bring to the Sixth Circuit the same wisdom, fairness, and ability that he has shown on the District Court,” McConnell added.
“President Trump made an outstanding choice and I look forward to the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Thapar,” said the Kentucky Senator who has twice introduced Thapar during previous nomination hearings. Thapar needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had listed Thapar among potential nominees to the highest court in the land. If confirmed, Thapar would be President Trump’s first Indian-American judicial appointee to an Appeals Court bench.
Thapar was the first South Asian Article III judge when he was appointed as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky by President George W. Bush in 2007.
The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) President Vichal Kumar applauded Thapar’s nomination calling him “a respected and thoughtful jurist” and a role model for the South Asian American legal community.
“Despite being among the youngest judges in the federal judiciary, Judge Thapar quickly established a reputation as a top legal scholar among his peers,” Kumar said.
Prior to becoming a judge, Thapar was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2006-2007.
According to a Buzzfeed.com report, around 120 positions or 13 percent of federal judgeships are currently open for President Trump to nominate his candidates. A majority of the judges on the Sixth Circuit Court are Republican appointees.
McConnell introduced Thapar at previous Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, first in 2006 when he was nominated as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and then in 2007 when he was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Judge Thapar is a member of SABA’s National Advisory Council. A graduate of Boston College with a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Thapar has also taught at the University of Virginia School of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, and the Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law.
Thapar, 47, was born in Detroit, Michigan.