On Saturday, it was announced that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, was found dead earlier that morning. Since then, media has been alive with speculation over who will be appointed to the now-vacant position, or if a nominee for the position would even be named before President Barack Obama’s final term is up. Speculation over the most viable candidate has landed on Sri Srinivasan, a former law clerk for none other but Sandra Day O’Conner. The debate is on to determine whether or not Srinivasan will be blocked or not from obtaining the position of Supreme Court Justice.
Sri Srinivasan has a track record in the high courts of the United States going back as far as the 1980s. According to the International Business Times, he was born in the Indian city of Chandigarh, and his family migrated to Kansas in the 1960s. After attending Stanford for his undergraduate and law degree, he began a clerkship with Ronald Reagan-nominated Supreme Court Justice O’Connor. Later on, he would defend Enron chief executive Jeffery Skilling in the Supreme Court hearing that convicted Enron of financial fraud.
Srinivasan would go on to gain notoriety defending same sex marriage back in 2013.
In the same year, Sri was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit with 97-0 vote from the senate. His appointment has been contested by Republicans as a move to undermine their power, but Srinivasan denies this in a statement made to Politico.
“If we lived in a world where we had the rule of a judge, rather than the rule of law, you would have seen an absolute sea change, an avulsive change in the law as it was interpreted, applied and rendered by our court… And I think in at least some spheres there was probably some apprehension about that — or glee about that — depending on one’s perspective [but] we didn’t see an immediate sea change in decisions, we didn’t see an overruling of prior precedent, we didn’t see an immediate call to take en banc any case in which judges make a decision that other judges on the court might disagree with.”
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) February 14, 2016
USA Today saw Sri coming a mile away. He got their attention back in 2013 after his Supreme Court Case defending same-sex marriage. Of course he had a tough argument to make and the issue was heated, but Srinivasan made waves with the grace in which he delivered his case, and was applauded for putting hard work above ideology.
It’s no surprise that he would be a contender for the Supreme Court Justice. He has long been a favorite of Barack Obama who helped him with his appointment to the U. S. Court of Appeals.
On what basis apart from base obstructionism would the GOP block Sri Srinivasan? Clerked for O'Connor. Confirmed 97-0 to DC Circuit.
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) February 13, 2016
“Sri is a trailblazer who personifies the best of America,” said Obama.
Even Clinton administration cabinet member Robert Reich is convinced that Sri has all the right connections to get in the Supreme Court.
Even though Srinivasan has worked under the good graces of the conservative administrations, it is widely speculated as to whether or not he will be blocked by Republicans out of simple spite for Barack Obama. Hopefully we will see politics at work instead of representatives calling for recess and practicing other forms of obstructionism.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]