Trump nominates Indian American Vijay Shanker for Associate Judge

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar; image via LinkedIn

With Senate control in balance, fate of outgoing President’s nominations uncertain.

Just 17 days before his exit, President Donald Trump has sent 30 nominations to the Senate including that of Indian American lawyer Vijay Shanker to be an Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

In a message to the Senate on Sunday, Trump said Shanker will replace John R Fisher, who has retired, with a term of 15 years on the highest court for the American capital.

But with the control of the Senate on the line in the runoff elections for two seats in Georgia, it’s unclear whether the upper chamber would take up Shanker’s and other Trump nominations before he departs on Jan. 20. And if it does, whether it would confirm them.

READ: Here are some of the top Indian American judges (July 23, 2020)

Trump had first announced Shaker’s nomination last June. Currently, he serves as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, and as Deputy Chief of the Appellate Section.

Before joining the Department of Justice in 2012, Shanker was in private practice with the Washington, DC, offices of Mayer Brown, LLC and Covington and Burling, LLP.

Upon graduation from law school, Shanker served as a law clerk to Judge Chester J Straub on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Shanker completed his bachelors, cum laude, from Duke University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as a Notes Editor for the Virginia Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.

Meanwhile, if the Democrats win both the seats at stake in Georgia on Tuesday, they will control the Senate, along with the White House and the House of Representatives.

But if Republicans win even one of the seats, they would control the Senate leading to a split government putting them in a position to block most of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.

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