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Trump Nominates Indian American Attorney Vijay Shanker as Associate Judge of D.C. Court of Appeals

Trump Nominates Indian American Attorney Vijay Shanker as Associate Judge of D.C. Court of Appeals

  • Along with Shanker, Sarita Komatireddy is another Trump nominee, who is awaiting Senate confirmation to be a judge of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York.

President Donald Trump has nominated Indian American lawyer Vijay Shanker to be an Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Shanker currently serves as the Senior Litigation Counsel in the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, and as Deputy Chief of the Appellate Section. 

Shanker will replace John R Fisher, who has retired, with a term of 15 years on the highest court for the American capital. Shankar was among 30 nominations sent to the Senate by Trump on Jan. 3, 17 days before Joe Biden’s swearing-in as the 46th President of the United States.

Shanker’s fate hangs on the Jan. 5 Georgia runoff results, which could tip the Senate balance in favor of the Democrats. Trump had first announced Shaker’s nomination last June.

During his career, Shanker has briefed and argued almost 60 federal appeals, including four en banc rehearings. As the senior litigation counsel in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Shanker investigates and prosecutes violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related offenses and advises attorneys and leadership on a range of legal issues and litigation matters, according to his profile on the Judicial Nomination Commission.

From October 2012 to February 2014, he served in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, first as Senior Counsel and then as Acting Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General. 

Shanker has been awarded the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, and the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.

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, he served as a law clerk to Judge Chester J. Straub in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in public policy studies, cum laude, from Duke University. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was named to the Order of the Coif and served as a Notes Editor on the Virginia Law Review. He was awarded the Roger & Madeleine Traynor Prize for “the graduate who has produced the best written work” and also the Law School Alumni Association Best Note Award. 

Along with Shanker, Sarita Komatireddy is another Trump nominee, who is awaiting Senate confirmation to be a judge of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York. Currently The Deputy Chief of General Crimes in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District, she also teaches at Columbia Law School.  She has served in the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section, Long Island Division, and General Crimes Section, as well as the Acting Deputy Chief of the International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section and as a Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Coordinator. 

Previously, Komatireddy practiced law at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel P.L.L.C. in Washington, D.C., and was Counsel to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.  She clerked for the Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh, then in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was the Bluebook Chair for the Harvard Law Review, and she received her A.B. from Harvard College.

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