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

Senate lawmakers confirmed Zahid Quraishi’s appointment to U.S. District Court in New Jersey on Thursday, establishing the Army veteran as the first Muslim American to serve as a federal judge.

The Senate approved Quraishi’s nomination by an 81-16 vote. A tally included “yay” votes from 34 Republican senators.

“Zahid Quraishi is a man of integrity, a consummate public servant, and a trailblazer for Asian Americans and Muslim Americans across this country who dream of one day presiding over a court of their own,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. “We should all draw inspiration from his story, because it is a story that could only take place in the United States of America.”

Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, has served as a Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey since 2019. He is the first Asian-American to be a federal judge in New Jersey. He is also an adjunct professor at Rutgers University.

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Prior to his appointment as a federal judge, Quraishi was a partner at law firm Riker Danzig. He served as a military prosecutor and deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2006. 

Quraishi is President Biden’s third judicial nominee to be

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