Sri Srinivasan, the first South Asian American to be picked for the U.S. Courts of Appeals, has been confirmed to the DC circuit. Previously, I have blogged about the politics of judicial confirmations in general and about Obama's slow pace in particular. Srinivasan is the first new judge to be confirmed to the DC circuit in 7 years. He is also the first South Asian American to serve on a U.S. Court of Appeals. The DC circuit he has been appointed to is especially symbolic and important because it is the circuit that has sent the most judges on to the Supreme Court. In fact Srinivasan is filling the seat on the DC circuit vacated by John Roberts' elevation to the Supreme Court.
While it is cause for celebration for Obama that Srinivasan was finally confirmed only after nearly a year--and he had no formal opposition, it is also cause for concern that there are three other vacancies still remaining on this important Court of Appeals. Obama has been slow to appoint nominees to the federal bench and he needs to speed it up before his second term ends since judicial appointments are but one way a president can make sure his influence is felt long after he has left office.
Srinivasan's confirmation to the DC circuit puts him on the fast track to the Supreme Court. Recall that John Roberts was on the DC Circuit for a mere two years before he was picked to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.