Tragedy struck the Supreme Court on Saturday, Feb. 13 when news broke the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in his sleep. According to CNN, the 79-year-old associate justice passed away in his sleep during a visit to Texas. And although many are currently mourning the loss of Scalia, including his wife and nine children, the government must go on, and the Supreme Court must find a replacement. One of Scalia's potential successor: Srikanth "Sri" Srinivasan. But who is Sri Srinivasan, and what would he bring to the Court?
Appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Barack Obama in May 2013, Srinivasan has quite the resume to support his potential role as associate justice. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals's official site, Srinivasan is a graduate of Sanford University undergraduate and graduate programs (the latter of which was split between Stanford Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.) Following his graduation, the India-born Srinivasan served as a law clerk to both Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Following his clerkships, Srinivasan worked at the O'Melveny & Myers law firm, where he eventually became a partner. Upon his appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Srinivasan became the first Asian American judge and Indian American judge on that court, according o Mother Jones.
If he were to be nominated as Scalia's replacement, Srinivasan would no only have the experience, but the support of Obama. In in an interview with USA Today following Srinivasan's unanimous appointment to the U.S Court of Appeal, Obama described Scinivasan as, "a trailblazer who personifies the best of America." Unfortunately, having Obama's stamp of approval might be the one thing that keeps Srinivasan from replacing Scalia, who was known for his more conservative views. As Huffington Post reports, the Republican party is trying to block any replacement nominated by Obama. Some, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have even gone as far as to say that a replacement shouldn't be selected until a new president is elected. But the odds of that happening seem slim.
Though Obama will be tasked with nominating the next Supreme Court Justice his nominee will have to secure a majority vote in the Senate, which currently currently has 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and two Independents. It may be difficult for Srinivasan to sway seven Republicans to vote for him, especially since he would be filling the shoes of a conservative member of the Court. But if he were to so, he would make history by becoming the first justice of Asican decent. And adding that diversity to the court can only lead to great things for out nation.