First Muslim Federal Judge Nominated by Obama

Abid Qureshi nominated to serve on United States District Court bench

History was written on September 6, when President Barack Obama nominated Abid Qureshi to the federal judiciary. Qureshi is the first Muslim candidate to be nominated. The president, in his statement, said that he is pleased to nominate Qureshi to serve on the United States District Bench. He went further and added that he is confident that Qureshi will serve with integrity the American people. The president said that his nominee will make a steadfast commitment when it comes to justice.

However, it is a rare chance that Abid Qureshi will actually ascend to the post in U.S. District Court for District of Columbia. Whatever happens, the nomination itself is an unprecedented one. Republicans in the Senate will, in all probability, veto Qureshi's appointment to the federal judgeship. They have stopped the confirmation of the all judicial picks made by President Obama. The nominee is at present a partner in Latham & Watkins LLP, a law firm. He works from the firm's Washington D.C. office.

The nomination, however, has a symbolic value. It is given in the middle of a raucous presidential campaign where Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said that a federal judge following the Islam religion will not treat him in a fair manner. The reason: Trump had called for the banning of Muslims to enter U.S. territory. The bigoted charges by Trump did not end at Muslims. He also said that any federal judge of Latino descent will also be against him as he had pushed for construction of a wall along the United States-Mexican border.

Muslim advocates, however, view this nomination as a kind of victory. The same feeling should be felt by all Americans who feel they are judicially or politically marginalized. According to Farhana Khera, executive director, Muslim Advocates, it is commendable that “President Obama for taking this important step in continuing to pick the best and brightest from every community to serve as part of our nation’s judiciary. A judiciary that reflects the rich diversity of our nation helps ensure the fair and just administration of the law, and it is vital for American Muslims to be included. Mr. Qureshi’s profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee.”

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