Washington, March 21 (IANS) US President Donald Trump is nominating Indian-American federal judge Amul Thapar for elevation to an appeals court, second highest level of the US judiciary.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicised on Monday Trump’s plan to nominate Thapar, who was the first Indian to be made a federal judge.
Appeals courts are just below the Supreme Court.
Thapar was on a short list of Trump’s picks for the Supreme Court that was announced during last year’s election campaign.
McConnel said in a statement: “I applaud the President for announcing his intent to nominate my friend, Judge Amul Thapar, to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Throughout his already impressive career of public service, Amul has shown an incredible intellect and an unshakable dedication to the law.”
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals covers two important states of Michigan and Ohio, in addition to Kentucky and Tennessee.
Thapar is currently a federal judge for Eastern Kentucky appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2007.
If approved by the Senate, Thapar will be the second Indian-American at the appellate court level, joining Judge Sri Srinivasan, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama to the powerful Appeals Court that covers Washington.
Srinivasan was on Obama’s short list of candidates for the Supreme Court. However, Obama finally appointed Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Garland’s nomination was not taken up by the Senate and it lapsed. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the vacancy and Senate took it up for consideration on Monday. There are likely to be other vacancies on the bench where there are three judges over the age of 77.
Thapar, 47, has a law degree from the University of California Berkeley and was a federal prosecutor in Kentucky before he was made a judge.
McConnel said that he looked forward to Thapar’s confirmation by the Senate and added, “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.”