I'm pleased, says Obama
Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan (46), the Chandigarh-born, Harvard-educated Obama nominee to the Federal Appeals Court DC Circuit, received bipartisan confirmation in a 97-0 vote by the Senate and set off speculation that he may go on to become the first ever Indian-American judge in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The President appeared relieved, even pleased, with the confirmation of Mr. Srinivasan after his first nominee to the Circuit Court post, New York prosecutor Caitlin Halligan, was rejected by Republicans and she was forced to withdraw from the race.
In a statement following Mr. Srinivasan’s confirmation Mr. Obama said, “I’m pleased the Senate unanimously confirmed Sri Srinivasan to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Sri is a trailblazer who personifies the best of America.”
Mr. Obama added that Mr. Srinivasan would be the first ever South Asian-American to serve as a circuit court judge in U.S.’ history. He, however, underscored that the Senate’s action marked the first confirmation “to this important court in seven years”, and that there were three remaining vacancies to be filled.
India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao welcomed Mr. Srinivasan’s elevation, describing it as “a matter of great pride and satisfaction for India and the Indian American community”.
Although Mr. Srinivasan’s father, a college mathematics professor, hailed from the South Indian hamlet of Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram, near Tirunelveli, Mr. Srinivasan grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, following his family’s migration to the U.S. in the late 1960s.
An avid fan of college basketball, Mr. Srinivasan and his siblings were said to have become “so americanised that they would travel long distances to see their beloved Jayhawks move through the NCAA brackets”.
Mr. Srinivasan has a JD/MBA from Stanford University under his beltClerking first for 4th Circuit Appeals Court Judge Harvie Wilkinson III and then for Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, he won praise for being collegial and non-partisan.
He was in the role of Principal Deputy Solicitor General till his confirmation. Mr. Srinivasan has argued more than 20 cases for the Justice Department at the Supreme Court, first for the Bush administration and then for the Obama one. Most recently, he was in the limelight for arguing the Obama administration’s high-profile challenge to the Defence of Marriage Act last month.