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India born judge in race to be US Supreme Court Judge

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Having helped 1.7 million people around the world gain mobility with the famous Jaipur Foot, the organisation is now embarking on a mission to develop an affordable artificial hand, its founder D.R. Mehta has said.
Jaipur Foot has already helped many to get mobility. Wikimedia commons

Washington: Chandigarh-born Indian-American judge has risen the ranks in the race of succession to be the new US Supreme Court justice. The sudden death of a US Supreme Court judge has put him at the top of the contention in the year of political battles.

Srikanth Srinivasan, 48, who became a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a traditional launching pad for Supreme Court nominees – in May 2013 after a 97-0 Senate vote was on the short-list of many in the media.

Speculation over whom President Barack Obama would nominate to replace Antonin Scalia started hours after the conservative judge’s death Saturday morning in Texas even as top Republicans said the choice should be left to the next president.

Obama said Saturday he would nominate a successor “in due time,” and the Senate will get “plenty of time to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote” even as Senate Republican leaders and presidential candidates were dead set against the move.

Any list of potential replacements begins with Srinivasan, said CNN noting that Obama would likely try to find someone that at least some Republicans in Congress might find acceptable given that the opposition party controls both chambers.

Obama first nominated him to the post in 2012, and the Senate confirmed him,

97-0, in May 2013, including votes in support from Republican presidential contenders Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Srinivasan’s father hailed from Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram, a village near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. His family, including two younger sisters, migrated in the late 1960s to Lawrence, Kansas.

His father was a professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas, and his mother taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and later worked at the University of Kansas computer science department.

Srinivasan was a high school basketball star in Kansas before attending Stanford University, which he graduated from in 1989.

He was Obama’s principal deputy solicitor general, most notably working on the successful fight against the Defence of Marriage Act.

Srinivasan also has experience on the other side of the aisle, serving as an assistant to the solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration and as a clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He was once a partner in the law firm O’Melveny & Myers.

Meanwhile, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the next administration should make the appointment.

But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said “failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”

The succession battle comes at a time when the Court is expected to hear several cases with huge political implications, including on abortion and affirmative action.(IANS)

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

Next Story

Donald Trump Offers ‘Compromise’ to End Government Shutdown in US

The President said his proposals were "reasonable with lots of compromise" and would "build trust and goodwill"

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Trump, Facts
Trump offers 'compromise' to end government shutdown. VOA

US President Donald Trump has set out new plans on his Mexican wall project to try to end a partial government shutdown lasting more than four weeks.

One of his “compromises” was on so-called Dreamers — who entered the US illegally when young. He still wants $5.7 billion to fund the wall, the BBC reported on Saturday.

Democrats have refused to fund it and ahead of the speech had already rejected the expected concessions.

The shutdown, the longest in history, has affected 800,000 federal workers.

The President started by saying the US had a proud history of welcoming migrants, but that the system had been “badly broken for a very long time”.

He said he was “here to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown”.

He again spelled out his reasons for building the wall and stressed it was not a continuous structure, just one of steel barriers in high-priority areas. But the demand for $5.7 billion to fund it remains.

Trump, Shutdown
Donald Trump. VOA

The two new ideas concerned the Dreamers and Temporary Protection Status (TPS) holders.

There are some 700,000 Dreamers, who were young when they entered the US with their parents illegally,

The Dreamers are currently protected from deportation under a programme that allows them to work but not get citizenship. It is a programme Trump has been trying to rescind.

But he said he would extend protection for Dreamers for another three years, allowing them continued access to work permits.

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He said he would also extend the visas for TPS holders for three years. More than 300,000 people from countries affected by war or disasters are allowed to work in the US under TPS, another system Trump has opposed.

There were other proposals, including $800 million in urgent humanitarian assistance, 2,750 more border agents and security officials and 75 new immigration judge teams. Certainly, the latter conforms largely with Democrat suggestions.

The President said his proposals were “reasonable with lots of compromise” and would “build trust and goodwill”. (IANS)