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US Senate confirms Indian American Amul Thapar to key Judicial Position

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Washington May 26, 2017: Indian American attorney Amul Thapar, US President Donald Trump’s first appellate court nominee, has been confirmed by the Senate to a key judicial position.

Thapar, who sits on the US District Court for Kentucky’s Eastern District, was confirmed for the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals by a 52-44 vote on Thursday and is the first Indian-American to be nominated by Trump for the key seat.

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Republicans said the judge is a good example of the kind of picks Trump should make. The President has made five other picks, with more than a dozen other vacancies still awaiting nominations, The Washington Times reported.

“He will fairly apply the law to all who enter his courtroom because, in Judge Thapar’s own words, ‘The most important attribute of a judge is to be open-minded and not to prejudge a case without reading the briefs, researching the law, and hearing from the parties’,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

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Thapar becomes the second South Asian judge to be on the US Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan, the report said.

During the judge’s confirmation hearing, Democrats complained about his record, saying he equates campaign donations with speech and is tied to The Federalist Society, an association of conservative and libertarian legal minds.

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Curt Levey, Executive Director for the Committee for Justice, said he doesn’t expect a major impact on the court’s rulings because a majority of the judges are already GOP appointees.

“Perhaps the most important thing about Thapar’s quick confirmation is that it puts him in a perfect position to fill any Supreme Court vacancies that occur in 2018 or thereafter,” said Levey. (IANS)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Criticize Social Media Companies For Spreading Foreign Propaganda

In July, during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter testified they did not remove content based on political reasons.

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Donald Trump.
Trump: It Is 'Dangerous' for Twitter, Facebook to Ban Accounts (Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that it is “very dangerous” for social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to silence voices on their services.

Trump’s comments in an interview with Reuters come as the social media industry faces mounting scrutiny from Congress to police foreign propaganda.

Trump has made his Twitter account — with more than 53 million followers — an integral and controversial part of his presidency, using it to promote his agenda, announce policy and attack critics.

Trump previously criticized the social media industry on Aug. 18, claiming without evidence in a series of tweets that unnamed companies were “totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.” In the same post, Trump said “too many voices are being destroyed, some good & some bad.”

Those tweets followed actions taken by Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube and Facebook to remove some content posted by Infowars, a website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones’ own Twitter account was temporarily suspended on Aug. 15.

Donald Trump. Pixabay.
Trump has made his Twitter account — with more than 53 million followers — an integral and controversial part of his presidency. Pixabay.

“I won’t mention names but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow,” Trump said.

Trump appeared on a show produced by Infowars, hosted by Jones, in December 2015 while campaigning for the White House. In removing Jones’ content, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook each pointed to specific user agreement violations. For example, Facebook removed several pages associated with Infowars after determining they violated policies concerning hate speech and bullying.

Twitter and Facebook declined to comment on Trump’s statement. Apple and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also Read: Slow Disclosure of Tesla Raising Governance, Social Media Concerns

In July, during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter testified they did not remove content based on political reasons.

“Our purpose is to serve the conversation, not to make value judgments on personal beliefs,” Nick Pickles, Twitter’s senior strategist, said at the time.(VOA)