As we’ve previously noted, the Sixth Circuit currently has two vacancies, and will soon have a third, as Judge McKeague has already announced his plans to take senior status.
Judge Amul Thapar of the Eastern District of Kentucky has already been nominated to fill the vacancy created by Judge Martin’s retirement in 2013, and his April 26 confirmation hearing went smoothly. Prior to serving on the district court, Judge Thapar had been the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
According to the New York Times, the nominations of John K. Bush and Justice Joan L. Larsen to the Sixth Circuit will be announced today.
Justice Larsen was named to the Michigan Supreme Court in 2015. Previously, she was a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and prior to that, a deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel. She also has clerked for Judge Sentelle on the D.C. Circuit and then Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.
John K. Bush is currently a litigation partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP in Louisville, Kentucky. He practices in the areas of antitrust, securities, financial institutions, insurance, intellectual property, and products liability. He is the President of the Louisville chapter of the Federalist Society and previously clerked for Judge J. Smith Henley on the Eighth Circuit.
According to “Above the Law,” Judge Allison Jones of the Kentucky Court of Appeals is also a potential candidate for nomination to the Sixth Circuit. Judge Jones was appointed to her current seat in 2013. Previously, she had been an administrative law judge in Kentucky (handling workers’ compensation claims), a staff attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, a law clerk to Judge John G. Heyburn II of the Western District of Kentucky, and a litigator at Stites & Harbison PLLC, the oldest law firm in Kentucky.