President Obama Nominates Muslim as Federal Judge

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New York – U.S. President Obama has nominated Abid R. Qureshi to serve as a federal judge yesterday.It is the first time in the history of the United States that a Muslim has been considered for a federal judgeship.Several advocacy groups have given support to the nomination of Qureshi.  Muslim Advocates, a California-based legal group, praises Obama’s choice for nomination. “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,” said Farhana Khera, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and executive director of Muslim Advocates, in a press statement.The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it was not aware of any Muslim judges at the Federal level.The nomination is seen as mostly symbolic since Obama has lost all political clout with Congress and is leaving office in January 2016.  Congress has not yet considered his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, to replace Justice Antonin Scalia who died in February.In addition, hearings have not been scheduled for two other Obama nominees for the federal district court, D.C. Superior Court Judges Todd Edelman and Florence Pan, who were nominated in April.The U.S. Senate returned to session yesterday.Qureshi is a partner at Latham & Watkins since 2006 and is based in Washington, D.C.  He was born in Pakistan and a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School.Qureshi’s highest profile case was representing The Islamic Saudi Academy, a K-12 private school with ties to the Saudi Arabian government in a labor dispute. The school, which is “rooted in the Islamic faith,” has been closed since June 2016, according to the school’s website.The Latham & Watkins is a global law firm which specializes in Sustainable initiatives, women’s rights, and activism. No press statement from the firm was noted in support of Qureshi’s nomination.

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