For Immediate Release, May 25, 2017

The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) congratulates the Judge Amul Thapar on his confirmation to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Today’s 52-44 vote means that the first South Asian Article III judge will become only the second South Asian judge to be on a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He ascended to the bench in 2008, after being nominated by President George W. Bush for the United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky by President George W. Bush.

“On behalf of SABA, I congratulate Judge Thapar who is a proven asset to the federal judiciary, the people of the commonwealth of Kentucky whom he’s served for almost a decade, and the South Asian legal community,” said President Vichal Kumar. “Judge Thapar’s confirmation further cements his legacy as a pioneer, esteemed jurist and dedicated public servant. We anticipate that Judge Thapar’s renowned dedication to his craft and commendable judicial temperament will serve him well in this integral position.”

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Thapar served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2006-2007.  There, too, he was one of the first U.S. Attorneys of South Asian descent.  During that period, Judge Thapar was appointed to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (“AGAC”) and chaired the AGAC’s Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture subcommittee.  He also served on the Terrorism and National Security subcommittee, the Violent Crime subcommittee, and Child Exploitation working group.

Judge Thapar has also worked for the law firms of Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and served as an Assistant U.S.  Attorney in both the Southern District of Ohio and the District of Columbia. Between 1994 and 1997, Judge Thapar served as a law clerk to the Honorable S. Arthur Spiegel, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones, who sat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Judge Thapar is a member of SABA’s National Advisory Council, and has served as a keynote for the Annual Convention and for many of our chapters.  SABA awarded him it’s Pioneer Award in 2010. He has also taught at the University of Virginia School of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, and the Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. Judge Thapar received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Aneesh Mehta
Vice President of Public Relations
South Asian Bar Association of North America