In a historic nomination, Zahid Quraishi has become the first Muslim American federal judge in the country’s 244-year history. In a bipartisan 81-16 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed him to the federal court in Trenton.
Quraishi will be “the first Muslim American to serve as an Article III judge in our history,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor before the vote. “His story embodies both the rich diversity of New Jersey and the promise of America as a place where anything is possible,” he added.
A Rutgers Law School graduate, the 46-year-old was born to a Pakistani family in New York City and raised in New Jersey. He joined a law firm in 2001 but enlisted in the military after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He served two tours in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star and a Combat Action Badge.
After leaving the army, he went to work for the Department of Homeland Security and then the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey before he became a partner at the law firm Riker Danzig. In 2019, he was appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge in New Jersey — making him the first Asian American to serve on the federal bench in the state.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., called on his colleagues to vote for Quraishi, saying he is “a person of patriotism who happens to be Muslim.”
“This is history,” Booker said, urging his colleagues “to achieve something that should have been achieved a long time ago.”
Leaders of the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC), Dr Ijaz Ahmad, Assad Chaudhry and Dr Mahbood Alam, who lobbied hard for his nomination, called his appointment a “historic moment.” “He is a model for the outstanding contributions that Pakistani and Muslim Americans make to this country every day. We are grateful to President Biden for nominating him, and to members of the Senate for confirming him today,” Dr Ijaz Ahmad, the APPAC chairman, added.
In addition to Quraishi’s confirmation, Judge Florence Pan would be the first Asian-American woman on the district court in D.C. if confirmed, and Judge Lydia Griggsby would be the first woman of color to serve as a federal judge in Maryland if her nomination is approved by the Senate.
From : pk.mashable.com