An interesting post by Ed Whelan at Bench Memos. Ed states:
According to reliable sources, the White House had settled on [Sri] Srinivasan to fill one of the two vacancies on the D.C. Circuit. (Both of the vacancies predate President Obama’s inauguration; indeed, the older one is the seat John Roberts vacated in 2005 to become Chief Justice.) But the Left then went after Srinivasan, in part because of union animosity to his corporate clients in private practice, in part because, in his former capacity as an assistant to the Solicitor General, Srinivasan advocated the positions of the Bush administration on war-on-terror detainee issues. And the prospect of Srinivasan’s getting the nomination now appears to be dead.
If so, this is truly regrettable. I had the privilege of working with Sri in the Solicitor General’s Office, and he is profoundly decent, smart as hell, and a straight shooter. He would have been a credit to the bench. Maybe he will be yet.
UPDATE (3/18 5 pm): Ed Whelan has posted what is (to me) an encouraging update on this story.
Whelan emailed Sri Srinivasan’s partner Walter Dellinger (former OLC head and former Acting SG from the Clinton Administration). Dellinger, although noting that he is not “privy to the White House’s thinking on this,” says he’s “pretty confident that Sri has neither been chosen nor ruled out.” The full email is below:
Ed – thank you for writing to ask about your blog posting. I am pretty certain that there has never been a decision settling on Sri as a nominee. I also have no reason to think that he has been ruled out. Any potential nominee who has spent time with a firm that represents businesses could, I suppose, raise initial questions for some folks in my party. But in Sri’s case he has spent a large amount of time on progressive pro bono causes (for instance he worked for Al Gore in the Bush v. Gore litigation, filed briefs for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights on the voter ID issue including in the Sup Ct, worked with and alongside civil rights groups in other cases, etc).
I should note that I’m not privy to the White House’s thinking on this, but I’m pretty confident that Sri has neither been chosen nor ruled out.