Chandigarh-born Srikanth 'Sri' Srinivasan, 48, tops the list of prospective justice to the country's highest judicial body as Obama said he plans to fulfill his "constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor" to Scalia.

"Any list begins with Sri Srinivasan, a member of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a traditional launching pad for Supreme Court nominees," the media reported yesterday.

At a time of bitter political divide when it would be tough for Obama to get through his nomination, Congressional experts pointed that Srinivasan's nomination as a federal judge was confirmed by the Senate in 2013 with a record 97-0 votes including the two Republican presidential aspirants – Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Srinivasan, whom Obama had first nominated to the post in 2012, was a high school basketball star in Kansas before attending Stanford University, which he graduated from in 1989.

He was Obama's principal deputy solicitor general, most notably working on the successful fight against the Defence of Marriage Act, but also has experience on the other side of the aisle - serving as an assistant to the solicitor general during the George W Bush administration and as a clerk to retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

79-year-old Justice Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court, died yesterday in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Texas.

Read more: US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia found dead in Texas

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