Skip Navigation
Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Senator Statements


Senator's Party
Senator's State

Sen. Feinstein Remarks on the blue slip process
(Democrat - California) 07/25/17
“The purpose of the blue slip is to encourage meaningful consultation between the White House and home state senators on nominees. Already this year, Judge Amul Thapar was confirmed as a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals from Kentucky, and Kevin Newsom is awaiting confirmation to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals from Alabama. Both of these nominations were only possible because Chairman Grassley consistently honored the blue slip rule for circuit court nominees under President Obama. President Obama had nominated other people to fill those Kentucky and Alabama vacancies, but the home state senators did not return blue slips for nine and ten months, respectively, and those nominations expired. That is the prerogative of home state senators when it comes to blue slips, and it is a prerogative that Senator Grassley and Senator Leahy both honored as chairmen. Senators deserve all the time they need to review a nominee’s record and make a decision about the blue slip.”

Sen. Durbin Floor Statement [opposing Thapar Circuit Court nomination]
(Democrat - Illinois) 05/25/17
"Given Judge Thapar's evasiveness on questions about his views, I am left to judge him on his record, such as his troubling decision in the Winter case, and the fact that the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation handpicked him for their judicial wish list. I need more reassurance than that to support a nominee for a lifetime appointment on the Federal court of appeals. I will oppose his nomination."

Sen. McConnell: Senate Set to Advance Nomination of Judge Thapar [Floor Statement citing ABA ratings President Trump is refusing to consider]
(Republican - Kentucky) 05/24/17
“The American Bar Association has given him its highest rating, unanimously well-qualified, and I couldn’t agree more with that characterization."

Sen. Warren Floor Statement [opposing Thapar Sixth Circuit nomination]
(Democrat - Massachusetts) 05/24/17
[S3128-29] "I rise to oppose the nomination of Judge Amul Thapar to serve as a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.... His nomination comes on the heels of the nomination of now-Justice Neil Gorsuch, an ultraconservative who could not earn enough support to be confirmed under Senate's normal rules, a judge so radical, so controversial that Senate Republicans had to change the Senate rules and lower the vote threshold to force his nomination through the Senate. Now the Senate is poised to vote on a judge cut from the same cloth. Like Justice Gorsuch, Judge Thapar made the list of 21 acceptable judges that far-right groups drew up and handed to President Trump-- judges who would tilt the scales of justice in favor of the rich and the powerful.... For years, billionaire-funded, rightwing groups have worked hand in hand with Republicans to ensure that our courts advance the interests of the wealthy and powerful over the rights of everyone else. They abused the filibuster to stop fair, mainstream judges from filling vacancies on Federal courts, they slowed the judicial nominations process to a crawl, and they threw the Constitution and Senate precedent out the window by refusing to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee. ...There are many reasons to oppose Judge Thapar's nomination to the Sixth Circuit, from his decisions making it harder for working Americans to get access to the judicial system to his support for sentencing policies that don't make us safer but that exacerbate the problem of mass incarceration. There is a lot to object to, but I want to highlight one area that should concern every person who thinks government should work for all of us; that is, Judge Thapar's stance on money in politics.... In his decision, Judge Thapar said: ``There is simply no difference between `saying' that one supports an organization by using words and `saying' that one supports an organization by donating money.'' ... As the Sixth Circuit reminded Judge Thapar when it reversed his decision on donations, even the Supreme Court has refused to treat monetary donations as equivalent to direct speech."

Sen. McConnell: Senate Judiciary Committee Supports Judge Thapar’s Nomination; Now Goes to Full Senate
(Republican - Kentucky) 05/18/17
“I join my fellow Kentuckians in congratulating Judge Amul Thapar for being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. He is now one step closer to being confirmed as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Thapar has a distinguished record of public service. He is a well-qualified jurist, and a man of integrity, who will bring a top legal mind to serve on the Sixth Circuit. I look forward to the full Senate confirming this well-respected Kentuckian.”

Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting
(Republican - Iowa) 05/11/17
"I’d note that the nomination of Amul Thapar to be United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit is on the agenda for the first time. I understand the Minority would like to hold the nomination over, and we’ll take up his nomination next week."

Majority Leader McConnell Introduces Judge Thapar from Kentucky at Nomination Hearing
(Republican - Kentucky) 04/26/17
"Through this hearing, I think you will come to see the bright, fair, and dedicated man who will make an incredible addition to the Sixth Circuit. Indeed, on Monday the American Bar Association gave him their highest rating, unanimously well-qualified."

Prepared Statement by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Hearing on Nominations
(Republican - Iowa) 04/26/17
I’m pleased to hold this nominations hearing for the first Circuit Court nominee of this Congress, Judge Thapar. In 2008, Judge Thapar became the first-ever South Asian American Article III Judge and if confirmed now, he’ll only be the second ever South Asian American judge to serve on an appellate court."

Sen. McConnell Statement on Judge Thapar
(Republican - Kentucky) 03/20/17
“I applaud the President for announcing his intent to nominate my friend, Judge Amul Thapar, to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Throughout his already impressive career of public service, Amul has shown an incredible intellect and an unshakable dedication to the law. He has earned the respect of his colleagues, and I know that he will bring to the Sixth Circuit the same wisdom, fairness, and ability that he has shown on the District Court. President Trump made an outstanding choice and I look forward to the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Thapar.”