Three Judges In The Race To US Supreme Court: One Indian-Origin, One Cuban-Origin And All Conservative, Catholic

by Swarajya Staff - Sep 23, 2020 10:52 AM
Three Judges In The Race To US Supreme Court: One Indian-Origin, One Cuban-Origin And All Conservative, CatholicAmul Thapar (Vanderbilt Law Alumni/Facebook)
  • A 'USA Today' report describes Amul Thapar’s family as being “culturally Hindu but not devout” while he was growing up.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who had been serving as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court since 1993 died on Friday (18 September) Since then, President Donald Trump has shortlisted three front-runners: Appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa and Amul Thapar, as a replacement.

Fifty-one year old Amul Thapar is the first South Asian federal judge in American history. He was also President Trump's first Court of Appeals appointment and Trump's second judicial appointment after Justice Neil Gorsuch.

If selected for the post, Thapar would make history as the first Asian-American on the Supreme Court. Thapar was reportedly born to Indian immigrants in Detroit, Michigan.

Thapar has a reputation of being very conservative in his views. A 2016 report in the Courier Journal quotes his father as saying that he “nearly wouldn’t speak to me after I voted for Barack Obama”. He is also a favourite of the Federalist Society, an influential conservative intellectual group.

However, when a group Demand Justice recently denounced Thapar as a “far-right judge”, saying that he would “sell our government to the highest bidder,” progressive colleagues came out in his support, calling him “a fair and decent-minded judge”, and that “he is just interested in getting to the right answer.”

A USA Today report describes Thapar’s family as being “culturally Hindu but not devout” while he was growing up.

Thapar reportedly converted to Christianity when he married Kim Schulte, a real estate agent who comes from a large Catholic family, and regularly attends St Pius X Catholic Church in Kenton County.

For the nomination of the Supreme Court judge, Trump said on Saturday (19 September) that he’s likely to select a woman.

Forty-eight year old Amy Berret, also a Catholic, has been accused by Democrats for allowing her faith to sway her legal analysis, especially on issues like abortion.

“Dogma lives loudly within you,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said in a widely reported exchange that enraged Conservative groups.

Berret clerked for former Justice Antonin Scalia - one of the most conservative judges in the history of the US Supreme Court who believed that the Constitution did not guarantee the right to abortion or same-sex marriage, and viewed affirmative action and other policies in favour of minority groups like the African Americans as unconstitutional.

Fifty-two year old Barbara Lagoa, another woman in the race, is a Cuban-American. Like Thapar, she has also been a member of the Federalist Society. Lagoa was the first Hispanic woman to be appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.

Lagoa is reportedly also a practising Roman Catholic. She cites Catholic education as instilling "an abiding faith in God that has grounded me and sustained me through the highs and lows of life."

While a Barrett nomination would please the staunch social conservatives; Barbara Lagoa and Amul Thapar are expected to placate Hispanic and Indian groups respectively for Trump before the upcoming elections.

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