Sri Srinivasan
Sri SrinivasanReuters

An Indian-born judge in America is reportedly the potential nominee in the race to become the United States' next Supreme Court Justice. The need for appointment of a new judge arose after the sudden death of serving Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday.

Scalia, a 79-year-old conservative judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, died at the Cibolo Creek Ranch resort in West Texas, Reuters quoted Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara as saying.

Calling Scalia a "larger-than-life presence," US President Barack Obama said he wanted to appoint the Justice's successor before his presidency ends in January next year.

"I plan to fulfil my constitutional responsibility to appoint a successor in due time and there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to give that person a fair hearing and timely vote," Obama said.

However, those campaigning for the 2017 presidential elections in California, including American businessman Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and other Republicans, said that the new justice should be appointed by the next president, not Obama. 

Indian-born judge a potential nominee

The hearing for the confirmation and appointment of the Supreme Court Justice will begin on April 10. Legal experts have put forward Srikanth Srinivasan's name as Obama's probable nominee. Indian-born Srinivasan has served on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since May 2013.

"If I had to put money on it, President Obama will probably nominate Sri Srinivasan to replace Scalia," Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser tweeted.

Jeffrey Ross Toobin, an American lawyer and legal analyst for CNN and the New Yorker, said Srinivasan could be Scalia's successor. "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," Toobin said in a piece published in the New Yorker.

"He is a protégé of Walter Dellinger, the acting Solicitor General in the Clinton Administration and a (mostly) beloved (mostly) liberal figure in the world of the Supreme Court. The safe assumption seems to be that Srinivasan would be the same kind of moderate liberal as Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan," he added.

Toobin said that only "real issue" with his nomination "would be political." 

Who is Srinivasan?

Srinivasan was born on Feb. 23, 1967, in Chandigarh, India. His father, who hailed from a village near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, migrated with his family to Lawrence, Kansas, in the late 1960s. 

Srinivasan graduated from Lawrence High School and completed his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1989. In 1995, he earned a JD/MBA from Stanford Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The 48-year-old worked as a law clerk with United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III and later, as a clerk for US Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

In 2012, he was nominated for the membership at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The US Senate confirmed his nomination by 97–0 votes in May 2013. He was also Obama's principal deputy solicitor general.

He argued over 20 cases in the Supreme Court, including "Administration's attack on the Defense of Marriage Act last month," Toobin said.