President Obama Nominates First Muslim-American Federal Judge

The day of revelation has finally come, President Obama has nominated Abid Riaz Qureshi as the first Muslim-American Federal Judge in American history. The President said in a statement, “I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench. I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”

The White House had been eyeing Qureshi for this position since June who is currently partner in a Washington DC-based law firm, Latham & Watkins. Qureshi’s current work focuses on health care fraud and securities violation. He has an excellent background as he graduated summa cum laude from Cornell in 1993 and cum laude from Harvard in 1997. His commitment to his religion, freedom, and pro-bono works makes him an excellent nomination. He is the first Muslim and Pakistani-American nominee by President Barack Obama.

The nomination has been applauded by many people and groups, mainly the legal advocacy organization, Muslim Advocates. The executive director of the group, Farhana Khera said in a statement that, “I commend 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”. She also went on to add, “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.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ executive director, Nihad Awad, also appreciated the nomination and spoke greatly of the nominee. The Indian Express also favored this nomination. But the Republicans have been trying to block the nomination stating that his ideas are totally opposite. This leads to the realization that this nomination might not actually go anywhere; considering President Barack Obama’s short term left in the office and also the required approval of the nomination by the Republican-based Senate.

Out of the ten nominees that the president has presented in the past, only two have been approved. The Senate has kept the nominees waiting, the most recent being the nominee for Supreme Court Judge, Merrick Garland. Hence, the chances of this nomination being approved are slim. But if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidential election, chances are that she would re-nominate Qureshi in 2017. It all comes down to the result of the presidential elections.

What are your thoughts on this nomination? Is this a step in the right direction for Muslims in America?

This article was written by Sadia Zafar

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