The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 on Thursday to approve Judge Amul Thapar for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley praised Thapar on Thursday as an "independent" and "fair-minded" judge who will do right for both the "rich and poor."

"He'll make a fine 6th Circuit judge and I'm pleased to support him," Grassley said. "He's demonstrated great qualifications and capability when he testified before us."

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, voted against Thapar. She explained her opposition by noting that one of Thapar's opinions cited the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that removed barriers to political spending.

Thapar, who President Trump included on his Supreme Court shortlists, faced staunch opposition from progressives looking to thwart his nomination. During Judiciary Committee hearings on his nomination, Senate Democrats pressed Thapar on his ties to the Federalist Society, a right-leaning legal organization that helped write Trump's Supreme Court shortlists.

Thapar is the son of Indian-American immigrants and a native of Kentucky. If another Supreme Court vacancy materializes in the near future, Thapar could be a leading contender once again.