Watched by PM's wife, Indian-American joins top US court

Washington, Sep 27 (IANS) Trailblazer 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 of the US.

Watching him take the oath of office with a hand on the Gita with his mother Saroja Srinivasan holding the holy book for him was family friend Gursharan Kaur, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's spouse.

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.

Srinivasan, 46, was sworn-in in an overflowing courtroom by retired Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O'Connor in the presence of legal luminaries, friends and families.

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 Juris Doctor 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 arun.kumar@ians.in)

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