Srinivasan Hearing a 'Dress Rehearsal' for Supreme Court?

In recent days, Gavel Grab repeatedly has mentioned rising media interest in President Obama’s nomination of Justice Department official Sri Srinivasan for the nation’s second most influential federal appeals court. Now Jeffrey Toobin suggests in the New Yorker why the stakes surrounding Srinivasan’s nomination may seem so high:

“The next Supreme Court confirmation hearing begins on Wednesday afternoon, April 10th. Technically, Sri Srinivasan is just a candidate for the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but few are misled. The stakes in this nomination are clear: if Srinivasan passes this test and wins confirmation, he’ll be on the Supreme Court before President Obama’s term ends.”

Srinivasan is Principal Deputy U.S. Solicitor General, has served at the Justice Department under both a Republican and a Democratic president, and clerked for a moderate conservative on another federal appeals court and also for then-Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. If picked for the Supreme Court, he would become it’s first Indian-American in history. And Toobin notes an element of timing, too:

“Plus, if Srinivasan runs the confirmation gauntlet now, it will be difficult for Republicans to argue that he’s unconfirmable just months later. His credentials would surely appeal to Obama, who has a fondness for technocrats, and his thin paper trail would make him difficult to attack. Which is why it looks very much like this hearing isn’t just a test for Srinivasan—it’s a dress rehearsal.”

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