They are not as progressive as some might hope. This is a feature, not a bug, of Obama’s choices. He wants to nominate a Supreme Court justice that can’t be dinged for being a radical communist.
So who are these guys (and yeah, they’re guys…)?
Srinivasan, 49, was born in India and emigrated as a young child with his family to Kansas. A Stanford Law graduate, he would be the high court’s first Asian American and first Hindu.
Srinivasan was nominated in May 2013 to be a judge on the Washington-based appeals court. The Senate confirmed him, 97 to 0.
Garland served several stints in the Justice Department and supervised such major cases as the prosecutions of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and his accomplice, Terry Nichols, and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. Garland was appointed to the federal circuit court in April 1997 and became chief judge in February 2013.
[Watford] worked for four years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles before joining the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson, where he focused on appellate litigation in state and federal courts. He was appointed by Obama to the federal appeals court in May 2012 after a Senate confirmation vote of 61 to 34.
I think Srinivasan (pictured at the right) has distinct advantages which would make any opposition to him be particularly ridiculous — not the least of which is that he was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit (probably the most important circuit court) without any Senate objection. Plus, the Republicans are being painted as the Bigot Party, so they wouldn’t look good turning down an Asian-American and Hindu (I would be willing to bet that most Trump supporters can’t distinguish between Hindu and Islam).
The problem is that Srinivasan is young — only 49. Watford is even younger at 48. So maybe Garland, age 63, has a better change for Republicans not to oppose.