President Donald Trump is moving quickly to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court created by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s impending retirement. Trump, who’s expected to announce his pick July 9, has begun interviewing candidates to fill Kennedy’s spot, and one of them has close ties to Boston College.
Amul Thapar, BC ’91, a 49-year-old judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, met with Trump on Monday, as reported by The New York Times.
Thapar is the son of Indian-American immigrants and was Trump’s first nominee to an appeals court in March 2017, after a 52-44 vote in the U.S. Senate, as reported by The Heights. The seat he filled had been vacant since 2013. From 2008 to 2017, he had served as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. He started working at that court in 1994 as a law clerk.
Thapar is known to have a conservative voting track record and was also among those Trump considered as a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia following his death in 2016. Friends close to him suggest otherwise.=
“I’ve never labeled him liberal, conservative,” said Adam McNeely to WCPO Cincinnati. “I think he’s a principled jurist who follows the law and he works hard to get the right result.”
Kennedy, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and is generally considered a conservative, was often the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court. He cast the deciding votes that found a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry and determined how far the government may intrude on a woman’s right to an abortion, among other important decisions.
In addition to Thapar, Trump met with federal appeals judges Raymond Kethledge, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom have conservative track records.
Trump said Monday he will meet with two or three more people before making his decision.
Clarification: The headline on this story has been updated to clarify that Thapar is in the running for the Supreme Court nomination.
Featured Image via Heights Archives