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Obama nominates two lawyers to serve on D.C. Circuit

Chances are slim that either nominee will be confirmed this year

President Obama is making a last-ditch effort to fill two of the three vacant spots in the D.C. Circuit.

Yesterday, the White House announced that the president has nominated Srikanth Srinivasan and Caitlin Halligan to serve on the D.C. Circuit. The president hasn’t been able to appoint any judges to this appellate court since he took office.

Halligan currently is general counsel of Manhattan’s district attorney’s office. The president nominated her for the D.C. Circuit last year, but the Senate blocked her nomination. Before her current position, Halligan was a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Prior to that, she was solicitor general of New York state.

Srinivasan, who was born in India, is the first South Asian American judge to be nominated to the D.C. Circuit and would be the third South Asian American federal judge if he is confirmed. He currently works for the Justice Department as principal deputy solicitor general. Prior to his current post, he was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers. He also clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor during the Supreme Court’s 1997-1998 term.

Experts say it isn’t likely that the Senate will confirm Halligan or Srinivasan this year because the judicial confirmation process typically shuts down as the presidential election nears.

Read the New York Times, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal for more information about President Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominations.

Ashley Post

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