President Barack Obama has nominated 1985 Lawrence High School graduate Sri Srinivasan to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Srinivasan is currently the principal deputy solicitor general of the United States and has argued many cases in both private practice and for the government before the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals.
In a statement Monday Obama said he also nominated Caitlin Halligan, a current general counsel for the New York County District Attorney’s Office, for another post on the circuit court.
“This important court is often called the nation’s second-highest court, and it stands more than a quarter vacant,” Obama said in the announcement. “I remain deeply disappointed that a minority of the United States Senate blocked Ms. Halligan’s nomination last year and urge her reconsideration, especially given her broad bipartisan support from the legal and law enforcement communities. Mr. Srinivasan will be a trailblazer and, like Ms. Halligan, will serve the court with distinction and excellence.”
Srinivasan, 45, was born in India, but he moved at a young age with his family to Lawrence, where he grew up. He was a Lawrence High point guard on the basketball team in the 1980s and spoke at the LHS graduation ceremony in 1985, according to Journal-World archives.
He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and law degree from Stanford University. He also has a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford and teaches at Harvard.
Srinivasan served as a Supreme Court law clerk for now-retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He was named to his post in the solicitor general’s office in 2011 and has also served as an intern for retired U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Deanell Reece Tacha, also a Lawrence resident.
“From his earliest days when I first knew him in Lawrence to the highest reaches of U.S. Supreme Court practice, Sri is known for his extraordinary intellect, exemplary integrity and dedication to the highest ideals of the legal profession,” said Tacha, Pepperdine’s current law dean. “Sri brings to this distinguished court the full measure of his great talent, commitment to the rule of law, and understanding of how the law impacts the people of this great nation.”
A Department of Justice spokeswoman said Tuesday that Srinivasan was not available for comment while his confirmation by the Senate is pending.
“It is doubtful that the president’s new nominees will be approved by the Senate this year, since a presidential election is due in November and the Senate tends to slow down on judicial nominations in that situation,” wrote longtime Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston on SCOTUS blog.