The US Senate has confirmed the first-ever Muslim judge the first Muslim American federal judge in the country’s 244-year history.
Zahid Quraishi, a nominee to be a U.S. district judge for the District of New Jersey, was sworn in for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 28.
The Senate voted 81-16 Thursday to confirm Zahid Quraishi as a U.S. district judge for the District of New Jersey.
Quraishi will be “the first Muslim American to serve as an Article III judge in our history,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor before the vote.
Who is Zahid Quraishi?
Zahid Quraishi was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, where he earned his law degree from Rutgers Law School.
His father, Nisar Quraishi, emigrated to New York from Pakistan in 1970.
He joined a law firm in 2001 but enlisted in the military after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
He served two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006.
“Those events of that day inspired Judge Quraishi to consider a career in public service. He applied to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he was commissioned as an officer and attained the rank of captain,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said before the vote, noting that Quraishi served two tours in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star and a Combat Action Badge.
After leaving Army, Quraishi joined the Department of Homeland Security and then the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey before he returned to private practice.
He was appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge in New Jersey in 2019, making him the first Asian American to serve on the federal bench in the state.