“the Supreme Court nominee in waiting”
It may take a while for some to learn how to say his name (the spelling isn’t phonetic), but Sri Srinivasan is the mostly likely nominee.
Padmanabhan Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was confirmed by the United States Senate by a vote of 97–0 on May 23, 2013. Before being confirmed as a judge, he was the Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States and had argued 25 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was also a lecturer at Harvard Law School. Srinivasan is known for having represented former Enron executiveJeffrey Skilling in his appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, Skilling v. United States (2010).
The New York Times and NPR have already bandied about his name, but there are several political reasons why his nomination makes sense:
1. The senate confirmed him for appeals court 97-0. It will be hard to claim he’s not acceptable to the GOP.
2. He clerked for Sandra Day O’Connor. She’s a respected justice, and though liberals can clerk for conservative justices, the average person won’t get the distinction.
3. No one has said anything bad about him as an attorney he is highly regarded.
4. He’s well-qualified with ample government experience, including arguing cases in front of the Supreme Court.
5. He seems non-ideological, having represented big business, but also siding with more progressive causes.
6. He’s Indian American.
A well-regarded, non-ideological (it seems), GOP-approved attorney. He’ll be hard to oppose. His ethnic background also throws the Republicans a bitter pill; he took his oath of office with the Bhagavad Gita. There is no good reason (so far) for the other side of the aisle to oppose him, but they won’t want to give Obama the pleasure of replacing Scalia (God rest his soul) with someone who doesn’t foam at the mouth. Opposing his nomination, preventing the effective functioning of the Supreme Court is an ingredient in the recipe for disaster that 2016 is shaping up to be for the Republicans. In short, Srinivasan will be the bomb thrown in the GOP’s lap.
Srinivasan also sounds a bit like Obama himself:
“I don’t think anybody is going to suggest that he’s being put forth as the next Thurgood Marshall or Justice Brennan. He does not come out of that kind of background,” says Caroline Fredrickson, president of the progressive American Constitution Society. But, she argues, he is “extremely well qualified” and “probably has the perfect resume for anyone who would be nominated to the DC Circuit.” Doug Kendall, president of the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center, calls Srinivasan “unquestionably brilliant” but acknowledges that Srinivasan’s record “is not progressive-forward; it is as non-ideological as you can find.” (Neither organization has formally endorsed Srinivasan’s nomination).
Rejecting this guy will look really bad for the GOP. They will have no credible reasons to oppose him. If they reject him, they will hand the Democrats a campaign issue. We want government to work. We’re willing to compromise. The GOP just wants to obstruct things. Unenrolled voters want someone they think thinks as they think, I think. Srinivasan comes across as non-ideological. He’s the best a “reasonable” person can expect for Democratic replacement for an ideological conservative. This game isn’t over. It hasn’t really begun, but I’ll be very surprised if this guy isn’t nominated. Even if the GOP refuses to give this guy an up-and-down vote, there’s a political win for Democrats.