Outside candidate for Supreme Court buoyed by McConnell's backing

TheHill | 7/10/2018 | Jordain Carney
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Amul Thapar is emerging as the candidate to watch as President Trump mulls his next Supreme Court pick.

While he isn't considered a top-tier contender to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, the circuit court judge has a powerful ally in his corner: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Age - Ability - Trump - History - Supreme

Combined with his age, 49, and ability to let Trump make history by appointing the first Asian-American to the Supreme Court, Thapar is being termed the "sleeper" candidate for the Supreme Court seat. The White House is reportedly focused more on federal appeals judges Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge.

“Judge Thapar is very, very sharp,” McConnell said during a speech in Kentucky last week. “It would be wonderful to have someone from our state, but beyond where he’s from, he’s just a unique talent.”

Thapar - Parents - India - US - Attorney

Thapar, whose parents immigrated from India, has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., and southern Ohio before becoming the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky in 2006.

He started his judicial career when he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2007 to be a judge for the U.S. district court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Thapar - District - Judge - Nominees - Trump

Thapar, then a district judge, was one of four nominees interviewed by Trump in 2017 for the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat that was ultimately filled by Neil Gorsuch.

Thapar was the only one who did not have experience as a circuit judge. His nomination, roughly three months later, to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit sparked immediate speculation that he was being groomed for an eventual Supreme Court vacancy.

McConnell - Thapar

McConnell acknowledged that he’s unsure if Thapar will ultimately be...
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