[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Supreme Court of the United States of America consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. On appointment, justices have life tenure (unless they resign, retire, take senior status, or are removed after impeachment). Associate Justice Antonin Scalia,79, died on Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas. This unexpected death of a serving US Supreme Court justice has created a vacancy. In an election year, speculation is rife over whom President Barack Obama would nominate in place of Antonin Scalia. Top Republicans are of the view that the choice be better left to the new President.
The spot light has turned towards Chandigarh-born Indian-American judge Srikanth Srinivasan, 49 who is considered a front runner to be nominated by President Obama.
Born in February 1967, Srikanth Srinivasan, became a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a traditional launching pad for Supreme Court nominees – in May 2013 after a 97-0 Senate vote.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]O[/dropcap]bama said on Saturday that he would nominate a successor “in due time,” and the Senate will get “plenty of time to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote” even as Senate Republican leaders and presidential candidates were dead set against the move.
Srinivasan is on the shortlist of many in the media. Any list of potential replacements begins with Srinivasan, said CNN noting that Obama would likely try to find someone that at least some Republicans in Congress might find acceptable given that the opposition party controls both chambers.
Obama first nominated him to his present post in 2012, and the Senate confirmed him, 97-0, in May 2013, including votes in support from Republican presidential contenders Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]rinivasan’s father hailed from Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram, a village near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. His family, including two younger sisters, migrated in the late 1960s to Lawrence, Kansas.
His father was a professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas, and his mother taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and later worked at the University of Kansas computer science department.
Srinivasan was a high school basketball star in Kansas before attending Stanford University, which he graduated from in 1989.
He was Obama’s principal deputy solicitor general, most notably working on the successful fight against the Defence of Marriage Act.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]rinivasan has experience on the other side of the aisle, serving as an assistant to the solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration and as a clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He was once a partner in the law firm O’Melveny & Myers.
Meanwhile, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the next administration should make the appointment.
But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said “failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”
The succession battle comes at a time when the Court is expected to hear several cases with huge political implications, including on abortion and affirmative action.
- Pentagon cancels aid to Pakistan over record on militants - September 2, 2018
- The curious case of Tamil Nadu’s opposition to NEET - September 4, 2017
- If 2.6 Billion People Go To War: India vs. China - July 22, 2017