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Indian-descent judge Amul Thapar among four interviewed by Trump for Supreme Court

If confirmed, Amul Thapar will be the first Indian American and Asian American, both burgeoning sections of the America population, to become a Supreme Court judge.

world Updated: Jul 03, 2018 23:02 IST
US Supreme Court,Amul Thapar,Donald Trump
The US Supreme Court is seen as the court nears the end of its term in Washington.(Reuters File)

Indian American judge Amul Thapar was among four candidates President Donald Trump interviewed on Monday for a vacancy in the US Supreme Court.

President Trump himself told reporters he had interviewed four candidates. “They are outstanding people, they are really incredible people in so many different ways, academically and every other way and I had a very, very interesting morning.” He plans to interview two or three potential candidates.

But the President did name them or the ones he was planning to interviiew.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also refused to name them, but did say each of the four spent about 45 minutes with the President.

The Washington Post identified them as Amul Thapar, Brett M. Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge. The four that have been one a smaller shortlist than the one Trump used to select Neil Gorsuch to the apex court earlier.

Trump plans to announce his pick on July 9.

Thapar, who was born to parents from India, is not new to being interviewed by the President. He went through it in 2017, after which he was named to the Sixth Circuit courts of appeal, a high court one rung below the Supreme Court.

But whoever is picked by the President may have to go through a bruising confirmation process.

Democrats fear the new justice, is likely to overturn a court’s decision from 1973, called Roe v. Wade that mandated all 50 states to legitimize abortion. Pro-lifers have long agitated for it to be overturned and return to the states the right to decide if they should or not allow abortions. They see an opportunity now with Trump in the White House.

Amy Coney Barrett is emerging as a strong contender. Ramesh Ponnuru, an Indian American conservative writer, pitched for her in a recent column in Bloomberg arguing, mainly and obviously: “She is a woman”. And among other reasons he cited how that will help, he said when the Roe v. Wade ruling is overturned, which he hopes it will be, “it would be better if it were not done by only male justices, with every female justice in dissent.”

All the three women on the US Supreme Court currently — Ruth Baden Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — are liberal and support Roe v. Wade and will oppose any attempt to overturn it. Coney Barrett’s vote, the columnist argued, would broad-base the opposition to it.

Thapar’s supporters say this is a chance for President Trump to make history. If confirmed, he will be the first Indian American and Asian American, both burgeoning sections of the America population, to become a Supreme Court judge. In fact, no one from these communities has even been nominated yet.

Sri Srinivasan, a judge on the DC circuit court of appeals, came closest to be named but lost in one-to-one toss up in 2016, when President Barack Obama went with Merrick Garland, whose nomination was blocked by a Republican-controlled US senate. That job then went to Neil Gorsuch.

First Published: Jul 03, 2018 14:18 IST