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Senate confirms Zahid Quraishi as first Muslim American federal judge in US history

June 11, 2021
The US Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Zahid Quraishi to be a US District Judge for the District of New Jersey, making him the first Muslim American federal judge in US history. — Courtesy photo
The US Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Zahid Quraishi to be a US District Judge for the District of New Jersey, making him the first Muslim American federal judge in US history. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — The US Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Zahid Quraishi to be a US District Judge for the District of New Jersey, making him the first Muslim American federal judge in US history.

"Mr. Quraishi will be the first American Muslim in United States history to serve as an Article III federal judge. The third-largest religion in the United States, and he will become the first to ever serve as an Article III judge," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday in floor remarks ahead of the vote.

"We must expand not only demographic diversity, but professional diversity, and I know that President Biden agrees with me on this, and this will be something that I will set out to do," Schumer said, noting how Quraishi is a "powerful" example of this.

Prior to his confirmation, Quraishi has been serving as a United States magistrate judge in New Jersey. According to his biography, he is of Pakistani ancestry and has the distinction of being the first Asian-American to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said in floor remarks on Thursday that Quraishi has "had an amazing public service career," and noted that he is "the son of Pakistani immigrants."

In March, when Biden announced his intention to nominate Quraishi, the White House said he "served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey from 2008 to 2013.

Prior to joining the US Attorney's office, Judge Quraishi served as an assistant chief counsel at the US Department of Homeland Security. He also served as a military prosecutor and achieved the rank of Captain in the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006."


June 11, 2021
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