Zahid N. Quraishi
Zahid N. Quraishi (Shutterstock)

Senate Confirms Zahid Quraishi, First Muslim American Federal Judge in American History

In a remarkable show of bipartisan support for our usually divided congressional leadership, the Senate has voted to confirm the appointment of the first-ever Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history.

On Thursday, June 10, Zahid Quraishi was officially approved to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by an 81-16 vote.

Saeed Ahmed of NPR reported that Quraishi is the son of Pakistani immigrants and has a long history of serving his country in various government agencies. 

“A graduate of Rutgers Law School, [he] was in an active law practice but gave that up to join the Army after the 9/11 attacks,” Ahmed reported. “He served two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006. In 2019, he was appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge for the District of New Jersey — the first Asian American to serve on the federal bench in the state.”

According to Ahmed, “Quraishi’s father, Nisar, emigrated to New York from Pakistan in 1970. The elder Quraishi opened a medical practice and continued seeing patients until he died of complications from coronavirus in April 2020.”

In an interview with NPR, Carl Tobias, a professor of law at the University of Richmond, praised Quraishi’s “historic appointment as the first Muslim Article 3 judge in history.”

“He just has this long, very enviable record of public service,” Tobias said. “I just find that to be unbelievable; I think it speaks to his really amazing public service.”

Dr. Ijaz Ahmad, chairman of the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee, agreed, telling NPR, “[Quraishi] 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.”

Senator Cory Booker, also of New Jersey, similarly praised Quraishi while also explaining why he voted for him.

“Congrats to Judge Zahid Quraishi on his historic confirmation to the U.S. District Court of New Jersey!” the Senator tweeted. “Zahid’s character, skill and expertise as a jurist, and his longstanding service to our state and country make him an excellent addition to the court.”

Ahead of Quraishi’s confirmation, Booker told the press that voting for him was a shining reflection of America’s ideal of religious freedom.

“It was such a sacrosanct ideal in principle that our Founders put that into the Constitution,” Booker said. “Here we are generations and generations later and this will be a real moment of breakthrough of a person who has shown their patriotism.”

Ahmed reported that the new judge is just another in a long list of diverse nominees to various federal positions appointed under the Biden Administration.

“In March, Quraishi was among the first judicial nominations that President Biden announced,” Ahmed reported. “It was a diverse slate that included three African American women tapped for Circuit Court vacancies; the first AAPI woman to ever serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C.; and the first woman of color to ever serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland.”

Many political pundits have since declared the Biden presidency the most diverse and inclusive yet in our nation’s history.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

Latest News

AT&T on Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in 2021

Originally published at about.att.com by Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer. AT&T is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   This Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting and celebrating what makes Hispanic stories so special. We will explore how the vast, diverse and evolving culture of the Hispanic community represents…

KeyBank’s Key4Women Program and SCORE Cleveland Announce Finalists for Women-Owned Business Pitch Contest in Ohio

Originally published at investor.key.com. KeyBank ranked No. 23 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   KeyBank’s Key4Women program and SCORE Cleveland today announced 10 finalists have been selected to compete in a business pitch contest for women-owned businesses (WOBs) located in Northeast Ohio. Selected from…

OneTen CEO Maurice Jones on Partnering With Wells Fargo To Rethink Talent and Open the Opportunity Pipeline

Originally published at stories.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   All Americans share an aspiration for economic opportunity, yet there is a persistent, intergenerational opportunity gap that prevents millions of Black individuals from having meaningful access to the American…

Johnson & Johnson Announces Global Call for Nominations for the 2022 Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Scholars Award

Originally published at jnj.com. Johnson & Johnson is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   Johnson & Johnson announced it is accepting applications for its 2022 Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Scholars Award. The award, which aims to support assistant or associate academic professors in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering,…

Michelle Wu

After 200 Years of White Men, a Woman of Color Is Guaranteed To Be Elected As the Next Mayor of Boston in Upcoming Election

Come November, Boston will be electing its first female mayor of color in the city’s nearly 200-year history. Who that mayor will be, however, remains to be determined by residents of the city in the upcoming election that features two women of color going head to head against each other…