MuBANY welcomes the White House’s announcement to nominate eleven judicial candidates. The slate of nominations reflect both the personal and professional diversity of America, and we applaud the administration for their commitment to diversifying the federal bench. Today’s announcement includes candidates with a range of personal and professional experiences – public defenders to prosecutors; law firm partners to sitting judges; African Americans, Asian Americans, and, if confirmed, the first Muslim American to the federal bench: Magistrate Judge Zahid Quraishi. MuBANY hopes Judge Quraishi is just the first of many qualified and diverse judicial nominations from the White House.
Magistrate Judge Zahid Quraishi is a friend of MuBANY and recently spoke on our panel: Pathways to Becoming a Federal Magistrate Judge. The panel, which featured two other Muslim Magistrate Judges, can be heard on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Judge Quraishi has been serving as a United States Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey since June 2019. Prior to his appointment, he was a Partner at Riker Danzig LLP and served as the Chair of the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and the firm's first Chief Diversity Officer. Before that, Judge Quraishi served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey for over five years, where he tried cases involving public corruption, financial fraud, and narcotics offenses. He also served as an Assistant Chief Counsel and trial attorney with the Department of Homeland Security and as a military prosecutor, achieving the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. In the Army, Judge Quraishi was assigned to the First Infantry Division, stationed in Germany, and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006. Judge Quraishi has had an admirable career in both the public and private sectors. We hope the U.S. Senate will quickly confirm Judge Quraishi so he can begin his work as a District Judge for the District of New Jersey.
MuBANY looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration in identifying additional qualified candidates for the federal bench and establishing a judiciary that reflects the diversity it presides over. In October 2020, MuBANY wrote to the Biden-Harris campaign to note that as of 2020, “there is to our knowledge no appointed member of the federal judiciary who identifies as Muslim, nor has there ever been.” The letter also noted that “the Muslim American community is currently one of the most ethnically diverse faith communities in the U.S.” and that “Muslims’ role in America pre-dates the founding of the nation, where 10-15% of enslaved persons were Muslims.”
To learn more about MuBANY or our judiciary initiative, please visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.