Are Sri Srinivasan And Ted Cruz Friends? The SCOTUS Runner-Up & GOP Frontrunner Have A Murky Relationship
Although he wasn't selected for the highly-coveted SCOTUS opening, Sri Srinivasan is still a popular name in political news today. The talk of his potential nomination generated a great deal of speculation about the Indian-American U.S. Circuit Judge for the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. One such speculation regards a peculiar friendship between Srinivasan and presidential candidate Ted Cruz. This relationship of sorts may surprise people because Srinivasan has a reputation for some liberal-leaning rulings, though he was confirmed for his position as a U.S. Circuit judge by such unlikely personalities as not only Cruz, but Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
According to BuzzFeed, Cruz has actually called Srinivasan his friend, but said he would not confirm this friend to the Supreme Court if he were nominated. No explanation was ever given regarding Srinivasan's record, thinking, or personality, but only the rationale that, "It makes no sense whatsoever to give Barack Obama the power to jam through a judge in the final election year." It's always about President Obama, isn't it? Perhaps Cruz's concern for his own voting record outweighs his friendships.
Interestingly enough, Cruz clerked in appeals court with Srinivasan. Not only that, but he actually voted to confirm the former employee of the U.S. Solicitor General to the D.C. Circuit in 2013 under President Obama's nomination. Cruz called this vote "very different from confirming someone to the Supreme Court," and thanked Srinivasan for the "fine job" he was doing.
Srinivasan spent most of his career prior to his role as a U.S. Circuit judge as a litigator, where he spent the majority of his time defending the positions of others, rather than his own views. He was involved in private-sector work with the firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP, defending Exxon-Mobil, and asserting that corporations could not have liability for human rights abuses in which they are complicit while abroad — particularly, murder and torture. For that reason, he is not a favorite among liberal-minded individuals, despite some liberal rulings — like his work in President Obama's Solicitor General's office, where he opposed Indiana's voter identification law and upheld affirmative action.
Whether or not the two are actually real friends or just former co-workers, Cruz was not a fan of any nomination during what he inaccurately called President Obama's "lame-duck" session, referencing the period of time where the president is in office after a successor is chosen. Simply because Srinivasan happened to pop up as a candidate for the nation's highest court does not mean Cruz is obligated to change his stance, so it's probably a good thing Obama selected Merrick Garland to fill Scalia's open slot, isn't it? No friendships had to endure strain after all.