The Senate on Thursday finally confirmed President Obama's first judicial nominee to the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
By a vote of 97-0, senators approved the nomination of Sri Srinivasan, a native of India who has served as the principal deputy Solicitor General of the United States.
President Obama, whose first nominee to the court, Caitlin Halligan, had been blocked by Republican senators twice, hailed the confirmation of Mr. Srinivasan.
"He will serve with distinction on the federal bench," Mr. Obama said. "Sri will in fact be the first South Asian American to serve as a circuit court judge in our history."
The president also urged senators to fill other court vacancies.
"While I applaud the Senate's action, it's important to remember that this confirmation is the first one to this important court in seven years," Mr. Obama said. "The three remaining vacancies must be filled, as well as other vacancies across the country."
Mr. Srinivasan is the first D.C. Circuit nominee confirmed since 2006 and now becomes a potential candidate to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, should one arise over the next three years.
The D.C. Circuit Court is viewed as a stepping-stone to the Supreme Court, and handles a wide variety of cases ranging from national security to the actions of Cabinet agencies.
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