WASHINGTON,Oct. 23 – An Edgewood lawyer will come one step closer to becoming the U.S. district judge for Eastern Kentucky Wednesday morning.
Amul Thapar,U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky,will testify at a Senate confirmation hearing. President Bush nominated Thapar in February,in anticipation of Judge Joseph Hood's retirement.
Sen. Jim Bunning,R-Ky.,will introduce Thapar to the Judiciary Committee,which will vote on whether to send his name to the Senate for a confirmation vote.
“He's one of the brightest legal minds we have had,” Bunning said. “Once we get the hearing,I think Amul's on his own and will do extremely well.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,R-Ky.,and Rep. Geoff Davis,R-Ky.,also praised their fellow Kentuckian's experience as a lawyer and a prosecutor.
“Amul's character and integrity are beyond reproach. He is exactly the kind of man we can trust in this extremely important position,” Davis said in a statement.
Thapar,37,was named the U.S. attorney in 2006. He has prosecuted mortgage,bank and election fraud. He also served on former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' advisory committee.
Before that,he worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and spent time at Williams & Connolly law firm in Washington and Squire,Sanders & Dempsey in Cincinnati.
Allan Vestal,University of Kentucky Law School dean,said Thapar is unlikely to face much opposition because of his impartial record.
“I think he'll make a very good federal judge,” he said.
Controversy over federal judicial nominations last drew widespread attention in 2005,when Democrats threatened a filibuster to block several nominees. Then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist,R-Tenn.,threatened to use the so-called “nuclear option,” to block a filibuster. A compromise sent three nominations through,and two nominees withdrew.
Thapar,like most federal nominees,declined to comment on his nomination,though earlier this year he said,”It is an honor to be nominated.”
Thapar was a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Arthur Spiegel in Cincinnati from 1994 to 1996 and later worked for Judge Nathaniel Jones of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,which covers Kentucky,Michigan,Ohio and Tennessee.
He was born to Indian immigrants outside of Detroit in Troy,Mich.,but grew up outside Cincinnati. He graduated from Boston College with a bachelor's degree in 1991 and earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994. He has three children with his wife,Kim.