US confirms first Muslim American federal judge, who is of Pakistan-origin

All those who voted NO on Quraishi’s nomination were Republican

By: News Desk      Published: 10:57 AM, 11 Jun, 2021
US confirms first Muslim American federal judge, who is of Pakistan-origin
Zahid Quraishi

The US Senate has confirmed the first Muslim American federal judge to serve as a US District Judge for New Jersey.

Pakistan-origin Zahid Quraishi will become the first Muslim American to be a 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 Charles Schumer said Wednesday prior to the vote on Thursday, reported CNN.

Quraishi had served as a US magistrate judge in New Jersey. He is of Pakistani ancestry, which also made him the first Asian-American to serve in the federal judiciary of New Jersey.

"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.

Schumer continued to say Quraishi’s nomination is a “powerful” example of achieving diversity among federal judges.

Among the members of the Senate, 83 voted “yea” with 16 voting “nay” during the roll call vote. A 50 percent majority was required. 

All those who voted no on Quraishi’s nomination were Republican. 

Democratic Senator 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 US 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."