Amul Thapar

U.S. Senate Acts on Trump Pick, Promotes Judge to Appeals Court

May 25, 2017
Vanderbilt University

The Senate on Thursday filled the first federal appeals court vacancy in more than a year, promoting a trial court judge who is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar of Kentucky was confirmed for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by a 52-44 vote. Thapar was the first judge nominated by President Donald Trump to a district or appeals court.

There are about 120 court vacancies now, with Senate Republicans having slowed confirmations toward the end of President Barack Obama's term.

The last appeals court nominee to be confirmed: U.S. District Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo in January 2016 for the 3rd Circuit after a wait of more than 400 days.

Vanderbilt University

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says a Kentucky judge nominated for the appeals court will get a vote in the Senate.

McConnell said the Senate will vote on the confirmation of U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar on Thursday. Republican President Donald Trump nominated Thapar to a vacancy on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Thapar was the U.S. attorney for eastern Kentucky before former President George W. Bush appointed him to the District Court in 2008. The White House says Thapar was the first federal judge of South Asian descent.

Vanderbilt University

A federal judge in Kentucky has cleared a major hurdle in his bid to joins a federal appeals court. 

Amul Thapar of Covington won approval on Thursday from the Senate Judiciary Committee after being nominated by President Trump for the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The district includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan. 

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky congratulated Thapar following the vote.

"Judge Thapar has a distinguished record of public service," said McConnell.  "He is a well-qualified jurist, and a man of integrity, who will bring a top legal mind to serve on the Sixth Circuit."