Barack Obama's Indian-American nominee Srikanth Srinivasan may create history in US

India-American

Described by US President Barack Obama as a "trailblazer", Indian-American Srikanth Sri Srinivasan has moved closer to become the first South Asian circuit court judge in the history of the United States.

A year after he was nominated by Obama on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday announced its decision to hold his confirmation hearing on April 10, which was immediately welcomed by the White House.

Srinivasan, 46, born in India and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, is currently serving as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the US.

"Sri (Srinivasan) is of course also a highly respected appellate advocate who has spent a distinguished career litigating before the US Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals, both in private practice and on behalf of the United States for both Democratic and Republican administrations," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"He has argued before the Supreme Court 24 times, drafted briefs and several dozen additional cases, and has also served as lead counsel in numerous cases before the federal and state appellate courts," Carney said yesterday after the announcement of dates for confirmation hearing for Srinivasan.

Tweleve former officials from the Solicitor General's office -- six of them Democrats, six of them Republicans all announced their support for him yesterday.

Carney said the signatories of the letter, including Paul Clement, Ted Olson, Ken Starr, and Walter Dellinger, wrote, "Sri has a first-rate intellect, an open-minded approach tothe law, a strong work ethic, and an unimpeachable character. Sri is one of the best appellate lawyers in the country."

The DC Circuit is often considered the nation's second-highest court, but it has twice as many vacancies asany other court of appeals, and its workload has increased by over 20 per cent since 2005, he said.

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