Trump’s First Lower Court Pick Breezes By Senate

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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Judge Amul Thapar, President Donald Trump’s first nominee to the lower federal courts, was confirmed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Thursday.

The Senate confirmed Thapar on a 52-44 vote that followed party lines. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell championed his nomination, a fellow Kentuckian who views Thapar as a rising star in the federal judiciary. Thapar was among the final four candidates that President Donald Trump considered, appointing to the Supreme Court.

Democrats opposed his nomination on the basis of his ties to conservative forums and think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. Both organizations have advised the White House on judicial confirmations.

“As in Justice Gorsuch’s case, those radical groups are committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure that Judge Thapar sits on the nation’s highest courts,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a floor speech before the vote. “For those groups, the goal is not just to get a few ultraconservative judges on our federal courts. It is to capture the entire judicial branch.”

Another 10 judicial nominations are currently pending before the Senate. Trump has over 100 vacancies across the federal courts to fill.

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