Kentucky judge confirmed for federal claims court

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A circuit court judge from Somerset has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be a judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

David A. Tapp, who has served in the 28th Judicial Circuit, which consists of Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties since 2005, was nominated in March, received his confirmation vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

In bringing the nomination to the floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Judge David Tapp has just about done it all since he first became a state judge nearly 15 years ago. He’s heard cases at multiple levels of the state’s judiciary, ruling on a wide range of issues.”

McConnell added: “As a volunteer drug court judge, Judge Tapp has earned national praise for promoting long-term recovery in the courtroom. He’s also developed a sterling reputation for fairness throughout Kentucky and around the country.

“And now, David will bring a lifetime of public service and achievement to the Court of Federal Claims, where I’m confident he’ll continue making us all proud.”

In an interview with the Somerset Commonwealth-Journal, Tapp said, he was pleasantly surprised and honored to be nominated.

"This is obviously a different type of court than what I'm accustomed to. It's widely regarded as a very intellectual court, one that has a tremendous fiscal impact on the U.S. and complicated civil litigation.

"While I've had complicated civil cases in my career, that's the everyday business of this court," he added. "It's very humbling to be considered for a court that deals day-in-and-day-out with such complicated legal issues."

Tapp has also served as an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney and began his career on the bench in 2004 when he was elected District Judge for Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties. Eight months into his term, then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher appointed him to a vacancy on circuit court.

Among his accomplishments while on the circuit court bench, overseeing a drug court that has become a national model, helping provide new opportunities for drug abusers who find themselves in the legal system.

A Lexington native, Tapp received his BA degree from Morehead State University, his MS from Chaminade University in Honolulu and his law degree at the University of Louisville.

Tapp also ran for the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2018, after Justice Daniel Venters announced his retirement, but lost in the non-partisan primary.

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