Another Indian American has been confirmed as a judge in the US Supreme Court. Amul Thapar, whose name was announced by President Donald Trump during his election campaigning has been confirmed by the US Senate for powerful appeals court.
Amid the gloom that surrounds the Indian American community due to spate of attacks and increasing hate crimes against it, this is a great news indeed. While it may not change much with the ground realities, the community has got another great opportunity to clear the misconceptions about one of the most prosperous communities in the US.
In the last three months, several Indian Americans have lost their lives in a spate of hate crimes that have gone up substantially after the change of guard in the White House.
48-year old Amul Roger Thapar is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. He received his commission as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on May 25, 2017, but has not yet taken the oath of office. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College in 1991 and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1994. He began his career as a law clerk to S. Arthur Spiegel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio from 1994 to 1996, and law clerk to Nathaniel R. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1996 to 1997.
Reports suggest that Thapar, the first Indian-American to be nominated by Trump for the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, was confirmed by the Senate 52-44 in a vote on party lines. With this, 48-year-old Mr 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. “Judge Thapar will make an outstanding addition to the US Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday.
While praising him, McConnell said Thapar has a reputation of a qualified judge with an impressive legal mind and will fairly apply the law to all who enter his courtroom. “Judge Thapar has been recognised for his work on the bench and the most recent edition of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary quoted attorneys who agreed that Thapar has excellent legal ability,” he added.
The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) also congratulated Judge Thapar on his confirmation to the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals. “On behalf of SABA, I congratulate Judge Thapar who is a proven asset to the federal judiciary, the people of the commonwealth of Kentucky whom he’s served for almost a decade, and the South Asian legal community,” said SABA president Vichal Kumar.
“Judge Thapar’s confirmation further cements his legacy as a pioneer, esteemed jurist and dedicated public servant. We anticipate that Judge Thapar’s renowned dedication to his craft and commendable judicial temperament will serve him well in this integral position,” he said. In 2007, the then George W Bush nominated him to be a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. At that time, the Senate confirmed his nomination by a voice vote, and Judge Thapar became the first South Asian American federal judge in the history of the US.