Judge appointment: Indian American Sri Srinivasan gets Republican support

Called trailblazer by Obama,Sri will be first appeals court judge of S Asian origin,if appointed.

Written by PTI | Washington | Published: April 11, 2013 12:36 pm

Described by President Barack Obama as a “trailblazer”,Sri Srinivasan has bright chances to become the first ever Indian-American to serve as a US federal judge as he faced no outright opposition from Republican senators during a confirmation hearing.

During his 90-minute confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee,an impressive Srinivisan appeared to have won the heart of the opposing Republican Senators,who were seen praising him.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch openly said he supports Srinivisan while another Republican Senator Ted Cruz asked soft questions and then narrated stories of their long friendship.

If confirmed by the Senate,Srinivasan,46,would be the first South Asian judge on District of Columbia Circuit,which is often described as the second top court in the country after the US Supreme Court.

In fact,Senator Mark Warner,Co-chair of the bipartisan US-India Senate Caucus,introduced Srinivasan at his confirmation hearing and asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to favorably report the nomination.

The DC Circuit handles key appeals relating to environmental,labour and national security cases through its jurisdiction over federal rulemaking.

While announcing his nomination last year,Obama called Srinivasan a “trailblazer” who “will serve the court with distinction and excellence”.

“Sri is exceptionally well qualified to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia,” Warner said.

“He possesses the credentials,experience,knowledge and expertise that we expect of nominees to the Appeals Court,as well as strong bipartisan support. Sri is the first South Asian American to ever be nominated to a US Court of Appeals,and he would be only the third South Asian American to be confirmed to any federal judgeship. Our judicial system benefits from such diversity amongst its many members,” Warner said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy,said that the hearing was originally planned for January,but was delayed at the request of Republicans.

“I’d like to get this nomination voted on,” he said.

During the confirmation hearing,influential Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said Srinivasan would make a “great” judge and said that he was terrific.

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer asked what possible reason could someone have to object to his nomination.

Besides Indian American Congressman Dr Ami Bera,a large number of Indian Americans and his supporters attended the confirmation hearing.

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