Srinivasan among 3 judges being vetted

Merrick B. Garland and Ketanji Brown Jackson are the other two.

March 06, 2016 04:38 am | Updated September 06, 2016 12:42 pm IST - WASHINGTON

President Barack Obama is vetting Merrick B. Garland and Sri Srinivasan, federal appellate judges who have enjoyed substantial support from Republicans in the past, as potential nominees for a Supreme Court vacancy that has set off a brutal election-year fight.

Mr. Garland (63) and Srinivasan (49) are undergoing background checks by the FBI, according to a person knowledgeable about the process.

The White House is also vetting Ketanji Brown Jackson (45), a federal trial judge, according to The National Law Journal , which cited a lawyer who had been interviewed by the FBI. Ms. Jackson formerly served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission and is related by marriage to the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. Earlier this week, the President was reported to also be vetting Jane L. Kelly, another federal appeals court judge.

Taken together, the names help flesh out a list of potential nominees for an appointment that could reshape the court and the country. A replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon who died Feb. 13, could hold the deciding vote on matters of abortion rights, guns, the environment, campaign finance and a wide range of other issues.

The candidates whose names have leaked out share the distinction of appearing to have some degree of palatability to Republicans, whether because of ties to prominent Republican lawmakers, past support from them in confirmation votes or both. But Senate Republicans have vowed not to hold any hearings for Mr. Obama’s eventual nominee.

Mr. Srinivasan and Mr. Kelly were confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2013.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, has said he will not even meet with Obama’s eventual nominee. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have signed a letter affirming that they will not hold hearings on such a nominee. — New York Times News Service

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