Washington, May 24 (IANS) History-making Indian-American legal luminary Srikanth 'Sri' Srinivasan's unanimous Senate confirmation as the first South Asian judge on the powerful appeals court for the American capital has been widely hailed.
Senate Judiciary Committee's Democratic Chairman Patrick Leahy, welcomed Srinivasan's confirmation, but criticised "Republican efforts to delay a floor vote of the highly qualified nominee, who waited months for a confirmation hearing and who was first nominated nearly one year ago."
Senator Mark R Warner, Democratic co-chair of the bipartisan Senate India Caucus, who had introduced Srinivasan in the Judiciary Committee, said he was delighted with the unanimous confirmation.
Ami Bera, the lone Indian American member of the US Congress said he was "thrilled" at Srinivasan's confirmation.
"He will be an outstanding, fair-minded judge," he said calling it "a historic moment for all Indian Americans and Asian Americans, and it's a fitting way to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May."
"Indian Americans have contributed to this country in many important ways, and we need to see more members of our community involved at all levels of government," Bera said.
Praising the Senate confirmation of Srinivasan, Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American member of the US Congress, said as the first South Asian on the appeals court "Sri will offer a unique perspective and added diversity that is long overdue in our justice system."
Applauding Srinivasan's confirmation, Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), an umbrella organisation of 41 community organisations, said "Sri Srinivasan has the ideal set of experiences and skills for this important position.''
Noting that he "will be the first South Asian American federal appellate court judge in the history of the United States," SAALT also commended President Barack Obama for nominating Srinivasan, and the Senate for confirming his nomination.