By Ed Diokno
One of the names being seriously considered to fill the vacant position on the U.S. Supreme Court is an Asian American. Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — a traditional launching pad for Supreme Court nominees, is being vetted, according to reports.
The friends and former colleagues of the 48-year old Indian American judge are being interviewed, sources familiar with the vetting process told CNN yesterday.
The news of Srinivasan making the short list for a seat on the Supreme Court came days after the White House talked with Asian American leaders in an “off the record” phone conference March 3. Although no names were mentioned during the call, people had a chance to press that an Asian American candidate be seriously considered for the open seat.
Srinivasan isn’t the only Asian American or immigrant who’s been talked up as a potential Obama nominee for the Court. There’s also Jacqueline Nguyen, an appeals court judge who once lived in a refugee camp with her Vietnamese family, and Goodwin Liu, a Taiwanese American justice from Georgia on the California Supreme Court. Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, a Mexican immigrant who is also on the California Supreme Court, is another potential option. But of these, experts say, Srinivasan is the likeliest choice.
Of course, there are many others being considered also besides Srinivasan.
The Senate confirmed him 97-0 in April, 2013. During the confirmation hearings Sen. Ted Cruz noted that “we have been friends a long time.” Sen. Orrin Hatch, now the chamber’s most senior Republican, called him “terrific” and added “I do not believe judges should be filibustered.”
During the hearings, he parried questions regarding his positions on controversial issues by testifying that he doesn’t let his personal opinions affect his judicial decisions.
Srinivasan was born in Chandigarh, India in 1967 and moved with his family to Lawrence, Kansas a few months later. His late father was a math professor at Kansas University; where his mother also taught art history and computer science. His sister Srinija was the fifth employee to join Yahoo.
(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
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