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Timothy K.
Democrat VA

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  • Nomination of Srikanth Srinivasan to Be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit

    by Senator Tim Kaine

    Posted on 2013-05-23

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    Read More about Nomination of Srikanth Srinivasan to Be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit

    KAINE. Madam President, I rise to support the nomination of Srikanth Srinivasan to be judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This matter will be before us for a vote later today. I want to talk for a bit about Sri's significant qualifications. I am going to discount the fact that he was born in Kansas and raised in Kansas, as I was. I will not take that into account. I will discount the fact he lives in Virginia as I do, and focus on other qualifications because he has them by the boatload.

    Sri has a wonderful background that equips him for this most important judicial position, and this has been a position that has been vacant since June of 2008. He was an undergraduate and then law degree and then business degree, MBA at Stanford after he grew up in Lawrence, KS. Like many law graduates, his next step was to work in a clerkship with appellate judges. He [[Page S3810]] worked first for a wonderful Virginia jurist, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, who was the chief judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals headquartered in Richmond. Judge Wilkinson is well known as a superb legal scholar and judge.

    After he completed that clerkship, he had the honor of being selected to work as a clerk for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, also a tremendous honor for a young lawyer. I talked at length with Mr. Srinivasan and heard about the fact that he learned a great deal from both of these judges about judicial temperament and the importance of so many aspects to be a good judge.

    Sri had the expertise developed in private practice at one of America's major firms, O'Melveny and Myers. O'Melveny and Myers has had a very significant pro bono practice for years, headed by Bill Coleman, who was a long-time official--one of the lawyers who worked on the Brown v. Board of Education case in the 1950s. Sri eventually became the leader of the appellate practice in O'Melveny and Myers, in that capacity doing good work. He has been a teacher at Harvard Law School.

    Probably most specific to the needs of the D.C. Circuit, Sri has had a long career working in the Solicitor General's Office, the key legal office of the United States, charged with representing the United States on important matters before the Supreme Court and the Federal appellate courts. He has worked two stints in the Solicitor General's Office, having worked both under the Solicitor General's Office during President Bush 43's tenure, and then again returning to work as the principal deputy solicitor general under President Obama. In that capacity he has had extensive arguments, more than 20 arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous appellate court arguments in the Federal appellate courts, including the D.C. Circuit Court for which he is nominated.

    Srikanth Srinivasan enjoys broad support. Numerous officials in the Solicitor General's Office under both Democratic and Republican administrations have weighed in on behalf of his candidacy. The ABA, American Bar Association, which looks at candidates and scrutinizes their qualifications, has given him the ``most qualified'' award, their highest recommendation. He comes with significant support in this body and others with whom he has practiced.

    The area I probably spent most time with him on as I was interviewing him was the whole notion of judicial temperament. These are important positions, and under the Constitution we grant them to people for life. You can have all the intellectual qualifications, but if you do not have the life experience to enable you to understand situations and pass judgment on matters important to people, and if you do not have the temperament to work in a collegial body--circuit courts, as you know, hear cases generally in panels of three and then occasionally hear cases en banc, the entire list of the circuit court judges for the D.C. Circuit would sit together--it is not enough to be a scholar; you have to be a good listener, you have to be a good colleague. Srikanth Srinivasan's career is a track record of his dedication and ambition, but his temperament is a real tribute to his humility, to his ability to listen not only to litigants but to other judges.

    I think these credentials, both his formal credentials--his work experience and temperament--would make him an excellent choice. For that reason I am proud to stand up as one of his home State Senators. I am proud to acknowledge the Judiciary Committee's unanimous vote on his behalf and urge my colleagues today as we move to the vote to support his nomination. None of us will be disappointed in his work as a D.C. Circuit judge.

    I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.

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