From left: Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Grace Meng, Ami Bera, Mark Takano and Judy Chu; judicial nominee Sri Srinivasan; Reps. Doris Matsui, Mike Honda and Alan Lowenthal.

WASHINGTON — President Obama on May 23 issued a statement on the Senate’s unanimous confirmation of Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

“Sri is a trailblazer who personifies the best of America,” Obama said. “Born in Chandigarh, India, and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Sri spent nearly two decades as an extraordinary litigator before serving as principal deputy solicitor general of the United States. Now he will serve with distinction on the federal bench. Sri will in fact be the first South Asian American to serve as a circuit court judge in our history.

“While I applaud the Senate’s action, it’s important to remember that this confirmation is the first one to this important court in seven years. The three remaining vacancies must be filled, as well as other vacancies across the country.”

Srinivasan will be one of three Asian Pacific Americans sitting as federal appellate court judges in the nation.

He earned his bachelor’s, J.D. and M.B.A. degrees at Stanford University. He previously worked for O’Melveny & Myers and has lectured at Harvard Law School.

Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus were pleased with his confirmation.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “His confirmation is especially timely since May is when we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Sri is a trailblazer for our community who brings a wealth of experience from his robust career in public service and the legal field. I thank Senate Majority Leader (Harry) Reid and my Senate colleagues for Sri’s swift confirmation, and I commend President Obama for his tremendous leadership in nominating highly qualified and diverse candidates for the federal bench.

“With this confirmation, the President has more than doubled the number of Asian Pacific Americans serving in the federal judiciary from eight to 20 over the course of his presidency. CAPAC looks forward to working with President Obama and the Senate to continue to strengthen and diversify the federal bench, and we wish Sri our best in his new role.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “I supported his nomination both on the Senate floor and in the Judiciary Committee because his intelligence and qualifications are without question. As the first South Asian American to be nominated for a federal appellate court, Mr. Srinivasan will also bring needed diversity to our federal courts.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), CAPAC chair emeritus: “I commend President Obama and his administration for the leadership and commitment to diversity and Sen. Reid for this confirmation. Srinivasan’s confirmation marks a giant step toward a more equitable representation of AAPIs on the federal bench, and it symbolizes a judiciary that better mirrors the nation it serves.”

Rep. Ami Bera (D-Rancho Cordova): “He will be an outstanding, fair-minded judge. This is a historic moment for all Indian Americans and Asian Americans, and it’s a fitting way to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii): “Sri will offer a unique perspective and added diversity that is long overdue in our justice system. Mr. Srinivasan has a distinguished and proven record of commitment to public service, and I look forward to his contributions to the bench.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “Srikanth ‘Sri’ Srinivasan is one of the finest appellate lawyers in the country and I am pleased that the Senate moved quickly with his confirmation.  As the first Asian Pacific American judge to be confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the nation’s second most powerful court, Mr. Srinivasan is an inspiration to the Asian Pacific American community. I look forward to watching the continued progression of his already distinguished career.”

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “Sri is well respected within the legal community, and his extensive legal experience makes him highly qualified to serve on the D.C. Circuit. As the first Asian American in the post, Sri’s confirmation is a historic step for our country, and I applaud the president for the nomination, the Judiciary Committee for their unanimous vote, and the Senate for confirming Sri with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Sri will be an exceptional addition to the federal bench.”

JACL Executive Director Priscilla Ouchida commented, “We applaud the Senate for confirming the highly qualified Mr. Srinivasan today and thank President Obama for nominating him. Mr. Srinivasan’s impressive track record gives me great hope that he will help serve justice in the United States while representing the Asian American population on that court. We congratulate him on this milestone achievement and look forward to his time on the bench.”

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