Chandigarh-born Srinivasan creates history as top US judge

Chandigarh-born “trailblazer” Indian-American legal luminary Srikanth ‘Sri’ Srinivasan has made history with the US Senate unanimously confirming him as the first South Asian judge on the powerful appeals court for the American capital.

Srinivasan, 46, currently principal deputy solicitor general of the US, was Thursday confirmed by the Senate by a 97 to 0 vote, as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often called the nation’s second-highest court.

“Pleased” at the unanimous confirmation of his nominee “the first one to this important court in seven years,” President Barack Obama said “Sri is a trailblazer who personifies the best of America.”

“Born in Chandigarh, India, and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Sri spent nearly two decades as an extraordinary litigator before serving” in his current job, Obama noted predicting, “Now he will serve with distinction on the federal bench.”

“Sri will in fact be the first South Asian American to serve as a circuit court judge in our history,” he said as he pressed the Senate to act quickly to fill the three remaining vacancies on the appeals court “as well as other vacancies across the country”.

The 11-member court has been operating with just seven judges – four Republican and four Democratic nominees – throughout Obama’s tenure.