Keep your eye on Srikanth "Sri" Srinivasan, the principal deputy solicitor general of the United States. This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The nomination will now move to the full Senate.
"If confirmed, Srinivasan would be the first ever South Asian American to serve on any federal appellate court," says John Yang of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. "We are extremely excited and look forward to his confirmation given his stellar reputation and credentials."
Many believe that Srinivasan, considered one of the best appellate advocates in the country, would top the list of potential Supreme Court nominees if a seat became available during the Obama administration.
As things stand now, however, there are no signs of an imminent vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, has been active not only on the bench, but in speaking engagements around the country. She told the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin in March, "As long as I can do the job full steam… You can never tell when you're my age. But, as long as I have the candlepower, I will do it. And I figure next year for certain. After that, who knows?"
If the full Senate confirms Srinivasan, he will go to the prestigious DC Circuit that reviews legal challenges and decisions of the national government. Chief Justice John Roberts as well as Justices Ginsburg, Thomas, and Scalia served on the DC Circuit before their elevation to the high court.
Republicans on the committee praised Srinivasan, who clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit as well as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He worked in private practice for O'Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C., and served as a career civil servant in the Solicitor General's office during the Bush administration.
A graduate of Stanford Law School, he most recently argued in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of the government.
He was born in Chandigarh, India, and grew up in Lawrence, Kan.