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Obama picks white judge over Indian American

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New Delhi: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday chose a white judge over Indian American Sri Srinivasan as his nominee to the Supreme Court, setting up a dramatic political fight with Senate Republicans who have vowed to block his choice.

Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, 63, a judge on the US Courtof Appeals for the District of Columbia, is much older than Chandigarh-born Srinivasan and other contenders on his short list such as judges Paul Watford and Jane Kelly.

In a speech in the White HouseRose Garden, Obama praised Garland, a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School and an appointee of president Bill Clinton as “one of the America sharpest legal minds”.

After conducting interviews last week, Obama is reported to have narrowed his list to include Srinivasan, Garland, and Watford, each of them considered “consensus” candidates for their history in gaining confirmation support from Republicans.

But Senate Republicans do not plan to vet or have hearings on the nominee and say the next president should be able to choose a replacement for justice Antonin Scalia who died last month.

Obama and Democrats argue that with 10 months left in his term, there is plenty of time for the Senate to take up and confirm a new justice.

Garland’s supporters argue he is the nominee that the senators couldn’t refuse even in a contentious environment, according to CNN. “He’s the establishment of the establishment,” one backer was quoted as saying.

Obama’s formal announcement came hours after telling his supporters in an email: “I’ve made my decision.”

“I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time and deliberation to this decision,” he wrote.

“I’ve consulted with legal experts and people across the political spectrum, both inside and outside government. And we’ve reached out to every member of the Senate, who each has a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination just as seriously.” (IANS)

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Motion Against Trump’s Appointee

The court in a brief order also declined to hear Michaels' appeal in the underlying firearms-related criminal case.

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Mathew Whitaker
Acting United States Attorney General Matt Whitaker speaks before introducing President Donald Trump at the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 7, 2018. VOA

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday stayed out of the fight over whether President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general is unlawful by rejecting a motion relating to the matter filed in a pending case.

trump
Then-Iowa Republican senatorial candidate and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker is pictured before a televised debate in Johnston, Iowa. VOA

The court turned away the request made by Barry Michaels, a criminal defendant in a federal case whose lawyers challenged Whitaker, a former federal prosecutor, being named in court papers as the acting attorney general after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on November 7.

Also Read: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Steps Down As Asked By Donald Trump

The court in a brief order also declined to hear Michaels’ appeal in the underlying firearms-related criminal case. (VOA)