Chandigarh-born Indian-American legal luminary Srikanth ‘Sri’ Srinivasan has moved a step closer to making history as the first South Asian judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the American capital.

Mr. Srinivasan (46) who in August last year was named Principal Deputy Solicitor-General — succeeding another Indian-American, Neal Kumar Katyal — won unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday .

If confirmed by the full Senate, which appears all but certain with all the Republicans on the Democrat-controlled panel joining in the 18-0 vote, Mr. Srinivasan would also become the first new judge on the powerful Appeals Court, often called the nation’s second-highest court, since 2006. Some court-watchers are already touting him as the next likely Supreme Court nominee as the Appeals Court has served as a stepping-stone for four justices on the top court.

The White House, which has fought hard for his confirmation, soliciting letters of support from former Solicitors-General and Supreme Court law clerks from both parties, applauded the vote for Mr. Srinivasan.

Srinivasan was born in Chandigarh and grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. He received his BA with honours and distinction in 1989 from Stanford University and his JD with distinction in 1995 from Stanford Law School, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as an editor of the Stanford Law Review.

More In: World | International | News