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Who is Sri Srinivasan?

They're calling him "the Supreme Court nominee in waiting."

Sri Srinivasan's nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. This is huge-- he's the first South Asian to make the cut to the Federal Appeals Court.

In fact, he's the first Asian American on that bench altogether.

Here's why it's such a big deal--The DC Circuit is famously the feeder court into the US Supreme Court. This means that Srinivasan's chances are very good to become a Supreme Court Justice in a matter of years. He could quite possibly be the first Indian-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

What does this mean for Asian-Americans? What does this mean for Muslim Americans? What has Srinivasan's stance been on Guantanamo and how do we think he'll rule on these issues? The DC Circuit is where a lot of Guantanamo cases are heard, so he could have a HUGE role to play on those issues.

Here's a breakdown of Sri Srinivasan and his stance on the issues:

  • He plays neutral. His stance has been overall centric. There's no outright reason for Republicans to block his nomination. But on the flip side, Liberals aren't quite sure where he stands, as he's played the neutral card well.

  • He's defended Exxon. He used to work at the firm O'Melven & Myers LLP, where he defended the oil giant in the face of human rights abuses. While this hasn't been a huge issue in his nomination, it's certainly been an issue, as Mother Jones reports that Earth Rights International is calling for the Senate Judiciary Committee to look into this.

  • He's helped Hispanic Americans. Srinivasan has done some pro-bono work, notably defending a legal immigrant from deportation over a minor offense. He's also fought for the right of Arizona students to have better second-language English education.

 

  • He's advocated for Bush-era Guantanamo policies. As Solicitor General, he stood in favor of the Bush agenda, writes FindLaw's Supreme Court Blog. What does this mean for the Gitmo cases? It's hard to say, since nobody's really pinned down Srinivasan's view points on Guantanamo. But with the recent hunger strikes in Guantanamo Bay, it's fair to say that Srinivasan might be sitting on the panel that reviews the civil rights violations in the force-feeding issue. Of course, he might also have to sit those ones out, given his prior involvement on those issues as Solicitor General.

 

READ: YOU DECIDE: Is it 'Un-American' to Let Guantanamo Prisoners Voluntatily Starve? (ILLUME)





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