A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKy’s Amul Thapar on Trump’s short list for U.S. Supreme Court nomination, supported by McConnell

Staff report

The Washington Post and other national news outlets are reporting that Northern Kentucky’s Amul R. Thapar is on a short list of four-to-six top candidates President Donald Trump is considering for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Thapar, 49, was recently appointed to a Sixth Circuit judgeship by Trump and is strongly favored for the Supreme Court appointment by Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Thapar is the only minority on Trump’s short list, which he derived from a master list of 25 pre-vetted by conservative legal activists of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

Thapar would become the first Asian-American on the Court.

Judge Amul Thapar

Trump has said he will make a decision on his choice on Monday.

The Post reports that others who have been interviewed are:

Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit, a favorite of religious conservatives and a former law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia;

Brett M. Kavanaugh of the District of Columbia Circuit, who clerked for Justice Kennedy and was a prosecutor under independent counsel Kenneth Starr who investigated President Bill Clinton; and

Raymond M. Kethledge also clerked for Justice Kennedy and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School

Two other names that have been widely reported are Joan Larson and Thomas Hardiman.

McConnell recently told reporters he had recommended Thapar to the President.

Thapar was born in Troy, Michigan and earned his Juris Doctor from the UC Berkeley School of Law in 1994. He was a law clerk to S. Authur Spiegel of the United State District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and then to Nathaniel R. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit. He was an adjunct professor in the University of Cincinnati School of Law. He was in private practice at the Squire, Sanders & Dempsey law firm in Cincinnati from 2001 to 2002.

He served as a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2006 to 2007 and was nominated by Pres. George W. Bush for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, a seat vacated by Judge Joseph Hood. He heard cases in Covington as well as London and Pikeville. While on the bench he served as an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University.

In March 2017 Pres. Trump nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and he was confirmed in May 2017.

Thapar and his wife, Kim Schulte, have three children and live in Covington.

Learn more about Thapar and his legal background here.

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