Amul Roger Thapar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Amul Roger Thapar (born April 29, 1969) is a United States federal judge.

Early life[edit]

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Thapar received a B.S. from Boston College in 1991 and a J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley in 1994. He was a law clerk to S. Arthur Spiegel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio from 1994 to 1996, and for Nathaniel R. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1996 to 1997. He was an adjunct professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Law from 1995 to 1997 and from 2002 to 2006.

He was an attorney in the corporate law firm of Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., from 1997 to 1999. He was a trial advocacy instructor in the Georgetown University Law Center from 1999 to 2000. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Washington, DC from 1999 to 2000. He was a General counsel, from 2000 to 2001. He returned to private practice at the Squire, Sanders & Dempsey firm in Cincinnati, Ohio from 2001 to 2002.[1]

United States Attorney[edit]

Thapar returned to the U.S. Attorney's Office as an assistant in the Southern District of Ohio from 2002 to 2006, and was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2006 to 2007.

While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he was appointed to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (“AGAC”) and chaired the AGAC’s Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture subcommittee. He also served on its Terrorism and National Security subcommittee, Violent Crime subcommittee, and Child Exploitation working group.

United States District Court[edit]

On May 24, 2007, Thapar was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky vacated by Joseph M. Hood. Thapar was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 13, 2007, and received his commission on January 4, 2008. Thapar sits in Covington, Kentucky outside of Cincinnati, as well as in London, Kentucky, and in Pikeville, Kentucky. While on the bench, Thapar has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, University of Virginia School of Law, and Northern Kentucky University. He has been an invited guest at Federalist Society programs. Thapar is America's first federal district judge of South Asian descent.

In 2013, Thapar was assigned to a case in the Eastern District of Tennessee due to the impending retirement of Judge Thomas Phillips from the Knoxville court. The case involves a high profile break-in by peace protesters at the Y-12 National Security Complex's Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility in July 2012.[2] The three protesters, aged 57 to 82, were convicted. On May 10, 2013, Thapar cited the definition of "federal crime of terrorism" to rule that the protesters must remain in jail until their sentencing on September 23, which has been delayed until January 2014.[3] Thapar sentenced one of the defendants, 84-year-old nun Megan Rice, to three years in prison for breaking into the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws. The two other defendants were sentenced to more than five years in prison, in part because they had much longer criminal histories. The activists' attorneys asked the judge to sentence them to time they had already served, about nine months, because of their record of goodwill. Thapar said he was concerned they showed no remorse and he wanted the punishment to be a deterrent for other activists.[4]


  1. ^ Press Release from Senator Mitch McConnell, accessed February 19, 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Knoxville News, September 13th
  4. ^