Senate Confirms first Indian American to Court of Appeals

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Srikanth Srinivasan by a vote of 97-0 to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., which is the highest appointment judicially achieved by any Indian-American.

The confirmation is just a precursor to what is expected to be his elevation, prior to the end of President Obama’s last term, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Obama led the overwhelming endorsement of Srinivasan, showcasing the judge’s Indian origins. Srinivasan was born in the city of Chandigarh, India but raised in Lawrence, Kansas.

He was a very successful litigator for close to two decades prior to serving as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General in the U.S.

Sri is the first South Asian American that will serve as a circuit judge in the country’s history, said Obama at the White House. After the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals in D.C. is considered the most important in the U.S.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers welcomed the confirmation of Srinivasan although there have at times been strong partisan fighting over Obama’s efforts to fill the vacancies of the court.

Srinivasan’s sister Srinija, is one of the originals from Yahoo and is employee #5.

Ami Bera, a Congressman who is Indian American, termed the confirmation of Srinivasan as a historic moment for the Indian American and Asian American community. He pledged to continue his support for aspiring and qualified leaders from the Indian American community.

Unlike high judicial appointments in India, the ones in the U.S. are big since often times they result in the shift of ideological power and rebalancing.

Currently the Court of Appeals in D.C. only has seven justices on an 11-member bench. Four were Republican appointees and three are Democratic.