Washington: Indian-origin Indira Talwani has assured US lawmakers of taking decisions based on facts and the law best applicable, as the federal judge nominee asserted that a judge needs to enforce order and civility.
Nominated by President Barack Obama to be Judge for the District of Massachusetts, if confirmed by the Senate, Talwani would be the first South Asian justice in the First Circuit.
“I think impatience from the bench is counterproductive.I think that a judge needs to enforce order and civility. But I don’t think that judges should in any circumstance be disrespectful at all to the people who appear in front of them,” Talwani said, responding to a question during her confirmation hearing from Senator Chuck Grassley.
“If confirmed, I would strive to ensure an absence of bias in decision making, that decisions are based on the facts and the law best applicable,” Talwani said.
“It differs from the role of an advocate where you can be open to different possible views but you don’t have to sit and make the final decision of which is necessarily the one that you would say will be right at the end. And I believe it’s a very different role and I would strive, if confirmed, to ensure the most objective decision making possible,” she said.
Talwani was introduced before the Senate Judiciary Committee by Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Daughter of immigrants from India and Germany, Talwani graduated with honors from Harvard University and was later named Order of the Coif at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California Berkeley.
Talwani is a partner at Segal Roitman LLP in Boston, where she focuses her practice on civil litigation at the state and federal trial court and appellate levels.
“Talwani has an impressive track record as a litigator, having represented clients in matters before the Massachusetts state trial courts and appeals courts as well as the district court to which she’s been nominated, the federal courts of appeals and the United States Supreme Court,” Warren said.
Talwani’s nomination is strongly supported by Asian American Lawyer’s Association of Massachusetts.
“Asian-Americans are a fast-growing segment of our state’s population, and that growth is reflected in our state bench, which currently has 10 Asian-American judges.
Remarkably, if she is confirmed, Talwani will be the first individual of Asian descent to serve on the federal bench in Massachusetts,” Warren said.
Talwani informed members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that her father, currently on a trip to Hyderabad, is watching her confirmation hearing through webcast.
“I’m not used to labeling it as a judicial philosophy, but I feel very strongly about the role of a district judge and a district court, which is to decide that case that is in front of the judge right then, based on the applicable law, and that’s why I intend to do,” Talwani told lawmakers.
Observing that litigation is “incredibly expensive”, she said: “I would be very conscious of the time that cases take and how that burdens both parties and try to move cases expeditiously, have firm case management procedures and just try to ensure that litigation isn’t more expensive than it needs to be.”