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Click here to download a PDF copy of the press release.

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association  

1612 K Street. N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, D.C. 20006

December 18, 2007

Contact: Les Jin
(202) 775-9555


Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is pleased to announce that Amul R. Thapar was confirmed as a federal district court judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky on December 13, 2007. Mr. Thapar becomes the first South Asian American Article III judge in the history of the United States. Mr. Thapar becomes only the seventh Asian Pacific American Article III judge currently active, and only the second Asian Pacific American Article III judge outside of California and Hawaii.

“This is truly an exciting moment in history,” said Helen Kim, President of NAPABA. “Mr. Thapar is a dynamic, accomplished attorney who will make a distinct contribution as a federal district court judge.  He is the first South Asian American federal judge, and we are confident that he will reflect well on our community.”  Ms. Kim noted, however, that “Asian Pacific Americans still represent less than one percent of the federal judiciary and that greater efforts need to be made to ensure that the judiciary reflects the American population as a whole.”

Mr. Thapar brings many years of federal court experience to the bench. As one of currently only two Asian Pacific American U.S. Attorneys, he has served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky since March 2006. Mr. Thapar previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and for the District of Columbia. Combined with past clerkships with The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and The Honorable S. Arthur Spiegel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Mr. Thapar’s federal court experience in four different jurisdictions is extensive and diverse. Mr. Thapar has been recognized by, among others, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for his ability to lead successful complex, multi-agency investigations involving violent crimes as well as white-collar offenses.

Mr. Thapar also brings a range of perspectives to the bench. He has worked at the private law firms of Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition, Mr. Thapar taught as an adjunct professor for over six years at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.  Mr. Thapar also has found time to serve on boards of directors for several nonprofit organizations.

NAPABA has been working towards Mr. Thapar’s confirmation since this summer. “NAPABA would in particular like to thank Senators Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter for their leadership in the confirmation of Mr. Thapar,” said Les Jin, Executive Director of NAPABA.  “Both Senators recognized the importance of this confirmation for the Asian Pacific American community.”  Mr. Jin added that “NAPABA also appreciates the efforts of Senators Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning of Kentucky for recommending Mr. Thapar, and the President for nominating him. ”


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