Washington: Indian American attorney Amul Thapar, US President Donald Trump’s first appellate court nominee, has been confirmed by the Senate to a key judicial position.
Thapar, who sits on the US District Court for Kentucky’s Eastern District, was confirmed for the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals by a 52-44 vote on Thursday and is the first Indian-American to be nominated by Trump for the key seat.
Republicans said the judge is a good example of the kind of picks Trump should make. The President has made five other picks, with more than a dozen other vacancies still awaiting nominations, The Washington Times reported.
“He will fairly apply the law to all who enter his courtroom because, in Judge Thapar’s own words, ‘The most important attribute of a judge is to be open-minded and not to prejudge a case without reading the briefs, researching the law, and hearing from the parties’,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Thapar becomes the second South Asian judge to be on the US Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan, the report said.
During the judge’s confirmation hearing, Democrats complained about his record, saying he equates campaign donations with speech and is tied to The Federalist Society, an association of conservative and libertarian legal minds.
Curt Levey, Executive Director for the Committee for Justice, said he doesn’t expect a major impact on the court’s rulings because a majority of the judges are already GOP appointees.
“Perhaps the most important thing about Thapar’s quick confirmation is that it puts him in a perfect position to fill any Supreme Court vacancies that occur in 2018 or thereafter,” said Levey.