Alicia Sotherland

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Vans Atwood On Feet

Vans Atwood On Feet

The India native and Justice Department litigator, confirmed to the nation's second highest court, puts hard work above ideology, but not above his beloved Kansas Jayhawks.

a man whose father was born in the southern Indian hamlet of Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram, became a college mathematics professor and moved the family to Berkeley, Calif., in the late 1960s. Eventually settling in Lawrence, Kan., the Srinivasans quickly became so Americanized that they would travel long distances to see their beloved Jayhawks move through the NCAA brackets.

The son eventually made his way to Stanford, where he earned three degrees, then clerked for 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor before launching his Vans Atwood On Feet own career.

For President Obama, it was no small feat. Circuit court was blocked by Republicans.

Stanford Law School Dean Elizabeth Magill recalls a speech Srinivasan gave to the school's graduates in which he spoke in self deprecating fashion about the lessons they would learn later in life. To illustrate, he recalled the commencement speech he gave as class valedictorian to the Lawrence High School graduating class of 1985 delivered as a rap.

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´╗┐Supreme Court justice in the making

WASHINGTON The issue before the Supreme Court was the Defense of Marriage Act, and the smooth talking native of India representing the United States of America at the podium had a tough argument to make.

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For Srinivasan, it was a walk in the park. Following close on the withdrawal of New York prosecutor Caitlin Halligan, he sailed unanimously through the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate with what Sen. Mike Lee, R Utah, one of the Senate's most conservative members, acknowledged was "broad bipartisan support."

"Sri is undoubtedly considered one of the best three or four Supreme Court advocates in the country," says Walter Skechers Energy Lights Toddler

Story HighlightsSenate confirms 46 year old for nation second highest courtRepublicans find an Obama Mbt Schuhe Kisumu 2 Black

nominee they can supportIndia native has argued at Supreme Court two dozen times

Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States Srikanth Srinivasan is sworn in before testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.(Photo: Chip Somodevilla Getty Images)

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From his post feet away from the nine justices March 27, Srikanth Srinivasan (SREE kont SREE nee vah sun) calmly explained what Roberts called a "totally unprecedented" situation. Lovett and Turner Broadcasting v. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The vote was 97 0.

Santa Clara University law professor Bradley Joondeph, who married one of Srinivasan's younger sisters, recalls living with the family for a year in Lawrence. Though he was under no pressure to convert to Hinduism, Joondeph quips, "they were rather inflexible when it came to college basketball."

That an Obama nominee could be so quickly and completely embraced by Republicans is a testament to Srinivasan's bipartisan credentials and collegiality. Current and former colleagues, as well as family members and friends, describe him as a doting father, loyal friend, fanatical University of Kansas basketball fan and open minded attorney who doesn't come to each case with a predisposition.

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Dellinger, a former acting solicitor general under President Bill Clinton. The first time Srinivasan argued a case before the high court, Dellinger says, he took a single sheet of paper to the podium so he would not appear overconfident. The paper was blank.

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"Sri is a trailblazer who personifies the best of America," Obama said, noting Srinivasan will be the nation's first circuit court judge of South Asian descent.

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"He is attracted to persuasive arguments, regardless of their source," says Irv Gornstein, executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University, who worked with Srinivasan in the Solicitor General's office and at the Washington law firm O'Melveny Myers. When they first became colleagues in the Solicitor General's office, he says, "I thought, 'Supreme Court justice.'"

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CDT May 23, 2013

Why, Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to know, was the government not only refusing to defend the law, which denies federal benefits to legally married same sex couples, but arguing the other side all while continuing to enforce it?

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