WASHINGTON (TIP): Recently, Indian-American Srikanth Srinivasan scripted history after he was confirmed as the first South Asian judge to America’s second highest court. But Srinivasan is not the only famous person of Indian origin who has made it to the top ranks in US judicial system.
Srikanth Srinivasan was appointed as a judge on the prestigious US Court of Appeals in Washington DC, the highest judicial appointment achieved by an Indian-American. Born in Chandigarh, Srinivasan spent nearly two decades as an extraordinary litigator before serving as Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States. Now he will serve with distinction on the federal bench. Srinivasan will be the first South Asian American to serve as a circuit court judge in US history.
Preet Bharara, who was born in Punjab, is the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 2012, Bharara was named by Time magazine as one of ‘The 100 Most Influential People in the World’ and was also featured on a cover of Time Magazine. His office was responsible for the high-profile prosecutions of insider trading and other financial fraud on Wall Street including the investigation against the Galleon Group of Raj Rajaratnam and former McKinsey chief Rajat Gupta. Bharara graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School.
Neal Katyal served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States from May 2010 until June 2011. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School, Katyal currently runs the appellate practice at the law firm Hogan Lovells and teaches at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was one of the youngest tenured professors in the university’s history. Katyal has served as counsel or co-counsel for numerous US Supreme Court cases.
Amit Mehta, an Indian-origin lawyer, is a partner at Washington law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, and has been involved in many big cases, including helping former IMF president Dominique Strauss-Kahn successfully get criminal assault charges in New York state court dismissed. Mehta, 39, is also a board member of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which seeks to reverse and prevent wrongful convictions in DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Preeta D. Bansal served as the General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to the US federal Office of Management and Budget from 2009 until 2011. Before her assignment in the Obama administration, she served as a law partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Amandeep Sidhu is a partner of law firm McDermott Will & Emery in Washington DC. He has built a reputation as a strong litigator with a solid commitment to pro bono cases. He is a founding member of The Sikh Coalition and has fought a pro bono battle on behalf of three Sikh men who wanted to serve in the US Army. He was able to successfully show that the men were able to meet uniform requirements by using Army-issued cloth for the turbans and that even with a beard, the men could not only use a gas mask effectively, but surpass their clean-shaven comrades in field tests. Eventually the men were allowed to join the service, but Sidhu said that he would settle for nothing less than a policy change.
Kamala Devi Harris is the Attorney General of California following the 2010 California state elections. Earlier she had served as District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011. Recently, US President Barack Obama apologized to Kamla Harris, for his comment in which he described the Indian-American as the best-looking attorney general of America – which many alleged was a sexist remark.