Indian-American becomes top US judge, creates history

Washington, Sep 27 (IANS) With his hand on the Gita and watched by family friend Gursharan Kaur, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife, Chandigarh-born legal luminary Sri Srinivasan made history as he became the first Indian American to be sworn in as a judge of what is often called the second most powerful court in the US.

Srinivasan, 46, was sworn in an overflowing court room by retired Supreme Court judge Sandra Day O'Connor, in the presence of legal luminaries, friends and families as his mother Saroja Srinivasan held the Gita, the sacred book of Hinduism, before him.

Gursharan Kaur literally rushed from the airport with just a short halt at the hotel to watch the investiture of Srinivasan on the bench of the US Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit.

O'Connor, for whom Srinivasan once clerked, called him "fair, faultless and fabulous".

Confirmed by the US Senate in May by a 97 to 0 vote, Srinivasan was earlier principal deputy solicitor general of the US to which job he succeeded another Indian American, Neal Kumar Katyal, in August last year.

Srinivasan came to the US with his parents in the 1970s at the age of four. His family settled in Lawrence, Kansas, where his father was a mathematics professor at the University of Kansas, and his mother taught at the Kansas City Art Institute.

He received his BA with honours and distinction in 1989 from Stanford University and his JD with distinction in 1995 from Stanford Law School, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as an editor of the Stanford Law Review.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at


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