The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Zahid Quraishi to a life seat in a US district court, making him the first Muslim US federal judge in US history.
Senators voted 81-16 to confirm Quraishi, 46, in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He is President Joe Biden’s third confirmed judicial candidate and received the strongest bipartisan vote to date.
To put Quraishi’s confirmation in context: there are currently nearly 900 federal judges. In the 230-year history of American courts, more than 4,200 people have served as Article III judges, that is, judges for life in district courts, appellate courts and the Court. supreme. None have been American Muslims so far.
Senate Democrats wereted no time in celebrating the historic nature of Quraishi confirmation.
“BREAKING: The Senate just confirmed Zahid Quraishi to sit on the NJ District District Court,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) tweeted minutes after the vote. “He is the first Muslim American federal judge in the history of the United States.
“HISTORY MADE,” tweeted Senator Robert Menendez (DN.J.).
Quraishi has been a magistrate for the same court since 2019, a post to which he was appointed.
He was previously a partner at Riker Danzig, where he chaired the firm’s white-collar criminal investigation and defense group and was his firm’s first head of diversity. Prior to that, he was Assistant to the United States Attorney at the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
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