Washington: Indian-Americans expressed their disappointment over Barack Obama's decision not to nominate "trailblazer" Sri Srinivasan to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court bench, but appreciated the US President for "strongly considering" the Indian-origin judge.
Srinivasan, 48, was among the few judges interviewed for the top judicial post by Obama, who ultimately opted to nominate Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
Encouraged by the fact that Obama nominated a record number of Indian-Americans to senior judiciary positions during his presidency, community leaders from across the country were hoping that Srinivasan would be the pick this time.
"The expectations were high and Sri was eminently qualified. The community was disappointed to say the least. This SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) process could take a while during this political season so let's wait and see what happens," MR Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, told PTI.
"This also indicates that Indian-Americans are not yet punching our weight. We have a long way to go where we are a significant force in the political arena," said Rangaswami, who had organised the first-ever Indian-American presidential inaugural ball after Obama was sworn-in for the second term in 2013. "However, It is gratifying to see so many Indian-Americans run for office in this election cycle. We could actually have an Indian American caucus next year!"
Rangaswami is currently planning for the next Indian-American presidential inaugural ball for the new president to be elected in the November 8 presidential elections.
Shekar Narasimhan, chairman and founder of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Victory Fund, also expressed his disappointment. "For the first time in American history, the President interviewed an Asian American for the US Supreme Court. While we are disappointed that an AAPI was not selected, we are pleased that President Obama strongly considered Judge Sri
Srinivasan," Narasimhan said.
"The AAPI community wants a seat at the table in every venue and truly believes the bench of qualified AAPI candidates deserve consideration for the very next vacancy," he added.