Sri Srinivasan: The first Hindu on the Supreme Court?

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Sri Srinivasan, shown here when he was U.S. Deputy Solicitor General, is a judge on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  Photo courtesy of Reuters

Sri Srinivasan, shown here when he was U.S. Deputy Solicitor General, is a judge on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Photo courtesy of Reuters

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(RNS) Hindus around the world are wondering whether Sri Srinivasan — the name atop many a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees — will be the first Hindu to serve on the high court.

The India-born Srinivasan put his hand on the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita, held by his mother, when he was sworn in to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2013. The Senate had confirmed him to the court — often a launching pad to the Supreme Court — by a 97-0 vote.

Sri Srinivasan, shown here when he was U.S. Deputy Solicitor General, is a judge on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Photo courtesy of Reuters

Sri Srinivasan, shown here when he was U.S. deputy solicitor general, is a judge on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Photo courtesy of Reuters

Now the Times of India, The Hindu and other Indian newspapers — as well as scores of American legal pundits — are speculating that Srinivasan could be Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, whose death was announced Saturday (Feb. 13).

The appeal of Srinivasan, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and argued more than two dozen cases before the high court as a deputy solicitor general, lies in his reputation as a moderate and the ease with which the Senate confirmed him to the appeals court.

Srinivasan, 48, who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, was raised in Kansas, and graduated from Stanford University with degrees in business and law. He has a pro-business pedigree, and defended former Enron chief Jeffrey Skilling. But he has also argued for liberal causes — as deputy solicitor general he argued that the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman for federal purposes, was unconstitutional.

(Lauren Markoe is a national reporter for Religion News Service)

  • William Bockstael

    Not a problem, as long as he keeps his religious belief system away from his dealings as member of SCOTUS…we have already a few who do not and legislate according to their religious agenda

  • Billysees

    ” But he has also argued for liberal causes — as deputy solicitor general he argued that the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman for federal purposes, was unconstitutional. ”

    Sounds interesting. But what does ‘for federal purposes’ mean?

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  • Yoh

    It meant:
    1. “Married Filing Jointly” on Federal tax returns.
    2, Recognition of marriage for federal employees for all benefits
    3. It meant at the time that “full faith and credit” did not apply to gay marriages across state lines.
    4. Recognition of next of kin for spouses of military personnel

  • Random Sample

    For purposes of federal taxes and other government programs.

  • samuel johnston

    Any non Catholic would be a refreshing change in point of view. A non- monotheist religious view might also help broaden the discussion.

  • He appears to have a stable, productive, and seemingly, honest life, what a nice
    change he could “project” in American politics, including the courts.

  • karthik

    Hindu religion is just a way of life. Basically it is based on various scriptures not one book. It doesn’t impose anything on anyone. One of those religion with so much freedom. You can look at it as a religion based on bunch of “self improvement books” 🙂 you can pick whichever one you want and follow. If you want to quit this religion and practice some other religion nobody is going to hunt you down and kill you. Example A.R.Rahman two time oscar winner, who was a hindu by birth then he converted into a muslim. Nobody hated him for that. He is still no.1 music director in India. Him being Hindu is not going to affect his judgement anyway.

  • Agni Jandhyala

    In reality one cannot be converted to & from Hinduism. A Hindu is born like an Russian, American, Indian, etc. A Hindu, simply meant people living in the Indian sub continent. I’m a Hindu. I can go to a church, still come home as a Hindu and my parents had no problem. So also, I could visit a Masjid/Mosque, Synagogue, Monastery, etc. and still be a Hindu. There are a million paths for salvation in Hinduism and each individual / group follow their own.

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  • Anand Isaac

    However, in India there has never been a Christian President. There have been many Hindus, a couple of Muslims, a Sikh, but never a Christian. Even Christmas, the one of the two festivals celebrated along with Easter, was converted into a Governance Day and a working day by this Hindutva BJP government.

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    All the best Sri. God bless.

  • mileaway

    Now you have me confused. How can Obama and him have anything in common if this man is honest?

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  • yoh

    Wow that was incredibly ignorant and bigoted. So you believe the government should only be run by and serve only the interests of your version of Christianity.

    American was not founded on nor is its government beholden to religious beliefs such as your Christianity. If it were, they could have said so in the Constitution. Show me where Jesus is mentioned there and I will concede my point to you.

    Thank you for demonstrating how little regard some Christians have to the concept of religious freedom.

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  • Zacharias

    So very true!!!Well said!!!!

  • Zacharias

    very true!!! Well said!!!!

  • Zacharias

    So very true!!! well said @ DsouzaIndian.

  • Truehuman

    Absolutely narrow-minded, bigoted and partisan views. The whole view smacks of racist(shallow religion-istic) views, and please remember that the constitution of USA was not founded on such shallow,narrow beliefs as your version of Christianity. Also, before commenting anything on sacred scriptures like The Gita, The Bible, The Koran etc. and their implementations in life, read and digest them and their uniformity….

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