Can a Hashtag Influence the SCOTUS Nomination?

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Back in February, David Lat and @SCOTUSplaces kicked off the #YesSri hashtag on Twitter, a social media campaign supporting the nomination of Sri Srinivasan to to the United States Supreme Court. It has also been enthusiastically championed by Texas appellate lawyer (and occasional Lawyerist contributor) Jason Steed.

Srinivasan currently sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is seen as a moderate juror, and the Senate unanimously confirmed him back in 2013. Although Senate Republicans are threatening to refuse to consider any nomination, it seems like it would be hard for them to maintain that stance if Srinivasan is nominated.

So can a hashtag on Twitter influence the SCOTUS nomination?

I asked Steed whether #YesSri is mostly for fun or whether he actually thinks it could influence the nomination. (Steed replied from his iPhone, so I expanded a few abbreviations.)

It’s for fun, but I do think it’ll catch on if he is nominated, and could have some influence. I don’t think any major media outlets have written about it, but some journalists have retweeted my tweets with #YesSri, and I assume they’re just waiting for the nomination before they say something about it.

Online campaigns certainly can influence policy decisions. Remember when the Internet brought SOPA to a screeching halt? Maybe if Srinivasan is nominated, #YesSri could play a role in getting the Senate to hold confirmation hearings, at least.

Featured image: “Interior of the U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C. Ca. 1990. ” from Shutterstock.

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