Washington: US President Barack Obama has been requested by a lawyers' body and a Congresswoman to nominate a South-Asian American to the Supreme Court to fill up the vacancy caused by the sudden death of conservative icon Justice Antonin Scalia.
"The influence of South-Asian Americans is inescapable, shaping our legal system and access to justice in the 21st Century," South Asian Bar Association (SABA) said on Tuesday as it requested Obama to nominate a South-Asian attorney as the next Supreme Court Justice of the US.
"Appointing an immigrant or child of immigrants to this nation reflects the excellence found within the Minority Bar and ensures the continued diversity of our Judiciary. Citizens of South-Asian descent have become influential voices and leaders within government and the greater legal community," SABA said.
In a letter to Obama, Congresswoman Grace Meng highlighted several qualified candidates including Sri Srinivasan, 48, an Indian-origin judge. She also noted Kamala Harris, an Indian-American who serves as California's Attorney General.
Harris yesterday said she is not in the race for Supreme Court as she is running for the US Senate from California.
"I write to request that you consider nominating the first ever Asian-American Justice to the Supreme Court of the US. I know that you will make the decision that is best for America. I thank you for reviewing this matter and considering my request. I eagerly await your response and your nomination," Meng said.
In another letter, eminent Indian-American lawyer from New York Ravi Batra has requested Obama to nominate Indian American to the Supreme Court.
"I write in support of certain great Americans with immigrant roots like J Scalia: Preet Bharara, Kamala Harris and Sri Srinivasan," he said.
Only Srinivasan has been voted up 97-0 and the fact that he clerked for the revered Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and has, like myself, defended other nations' sovereignty by preventing extra-territorial jurisdiction of our courts, makes him a Centrist worthy of prompt Senate confirmation.
Indian-American Neal Katyal, 45, who served as Acting Solicitor General of the US, is also a possible candidate.
"Your nomination will delight every Indian-American including those serving in our military and indeed 1.2 billion Indians that America has finally seized the moment of destiny to join at the legal hip two natural allies," Batra added.
Justice Scalia, the first Italian-American appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, died on 13 February at the age of 79.