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Will Srinivasan be Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee? Hearings this week could be ‘dress researsal’

Posted Apr 9, 2013 1:39 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Obama administration’s principal deputy solicitor general Sri Srinivasan appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week as he seeks confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

But much more could be at risk, according to the New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog. “The stakes in this nomination are clear: If Srinivasan passes this test and wins confirmation, he’ll be on the Supreme Court before President Obama’s term ends,” the blog asserts in a post written by legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin.

Srinivasan, a former clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, has appeared before the Supreme Court in about 20 arguments. Twelve former solicitors general, including conservatives Kenneth Starr and Paul Clement, have signed a letter urging confirmation.

The Daily Comment and McClatchy Newspapers both point out that the D.C. Circuit can be something of a Supreme Court “farm team.” Srinivasan, 46, was born in India and raised in Kansas. If he were to become a Supreme Court justice, he would be the first Indian-American on the court, “a history-making choice,” the Daily Comment says.

SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein has predicted that California Attorney General Kamala Harris will get the next Supreme Court nomination, especially if the vacancy is caused by the retirement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Daily Comment thinks Srinivasan could be the more likely choice.

Srinivasan has a thin paper trail, making it more difficult to attack him on ideological grounds, the Daily Comment says. “Plus, if Srinivasan runs the confirmation gauntlet now, it will be difficult for Republicans to argue that he’s unconfirmable just months later,” the blog says. “It looks very much like this hearing isn’t just a test for Srinivasan—it’s a dress rehearsal,” the Daily Comment says.

Hat tip to Gavel Grab.

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