Judge Amul Thapar
Judge Amul Thapar

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Amul Thapar, an Indian-American judge who sits on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, is among the 10 new names Trump has added to his list of possible picks for the nation’s high court. Trump had released a list of 11 possible Supreme Court picks earlier in the campaign; NBC News first reported on Friday the additional contenders.

Thapar joined the federal bench in 2008, after having spent years working as a prosecutor in Cincinnati. He additionally served a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Ohio, as well as an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University, where his biography says he is the nation’s first Article III judge of South Asian descent.

Benjamin Dusing, a Covington-based lawyer and longtime friend of Thapar’s, said he is a smart and charismatic man with “exceptional character.”

Dusing said he was not sure how Thapar would have come to Trump’s attention, but he said the judge has a “federalist judicial outlook, which tends to be affiliated more with Republican political philosophies.”

Thapar recently presided over a high-profile case in which a mother was convicted of smuggling a fatal drug cocktail to her daughter in the Kenton County jail.

There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but Republicans have refused to take up President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.