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The Senate Confirmed The First-Ever Muslim American Federal Judge Appointed By A President



WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed US District Judge Zahid Quraishi as a federal judge in New Jersey on Thursday, making him the first Muslim-American to serve as the president-appointed federal judge.

The landmark nomination was part of President Joe Biden’s first wave of court elections, a list of nominees that was intended to send a message that the new administration would make diversifying the bank a priority. Quraishi’s nomination was largely approved on bipartisan lines, with a vote of 81-16.

His confirmation broke multiple barriers as he is also the first Asian American to serve as a federal district judge in New Jersey. His nomination was endorsed by a number of Muslim American and Asian-Pacific American organizations, as well as the New Jersey Federal Bar Association. He will occupy a position that has been vacant since 2018 and is considered a “judicial emergency” by the federal judiciary due to his caseload.

Quraishi, a Pakistani American, is already a member of the New Jersey court; He has been a federal magistrate judge since 2019, a position filled by court judges for a term of eight years instead of the lifetime, appointed by the president. and appointment of a district judge confirmed by the Senate. He had previously worked in private practice, as a federal prosecutor, as a lead attorney in the US Department of Homeland Security, and as a captain in the US Army’s general body of defense judges.

Quraishi, via cameras, declined to comment.

Quraishi is the third confirmed judge under Biden; The Senate confirmed on Wednesday another new member of the New Jersey court, US District Judge Julien Neals, and a nominee for the Colorado court, US District Judge Regina Rodriguez.

Biden launched his first list of judicial nominees on March 30, a list of 11 names, 10 for federal courts and one for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, which featured a mix of professional and personal diversity. Liberal advocacy groups have lobbied Biden to focus on the courts after the Trump administration succeeded in filling more than 200 vacancies, largely with white male judges.

There are 112 vacancies across the federal judiciary as of Thursday and 15 nominees in various stages of the confirmation process pending before the Senate. The number of vacancies has grown steadily since Biden took office, as confirmed by justices under former President Bill Clinton. they open their seats. Lawmakers are expected to accept next week the nomination of US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom Biden nominated to the powerful United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit; Jackson is widely considered a favorite of the United States Supreme Court if a seat opens under Biden.

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