Zahid Quraishi was confirmed on Thursday by the Senate as a US District Judge for the District of New Jersey. He is the first Muslim American federal judge in United States history.
Quraishi, the third judicial nominee from President Joe Biden to be confirmed to the federal bench, was approved in an overwhelmingly bipartisan 81-16 vote in the Senate. He was among a diverse slate of 11 judicial nominees put forward by Biden earlier this year.
BREAKING: The Senate just confirmed Zahid Quraishi to serve on the District Court for the District of NJ.
He’s the first Muslim American federal judge in US history.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 10, 2021
“Mr. Quraishi will be the first American Muslim in United States history to serve as an Article III federal judge. The third-largest religion in the United States, and he will become the first to ever serve as an Article III judge,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “We must expand not only demographic diversity, but professional diversity, and I know that President Biden agrees with me on this, and this will be something that I will set out to do.”
“This is an extraordinary moment, and I’m glad this is a bipartisan moment,” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said ahead of the vote.
“This is history here,” he added. “America has never before had an Article III judge that also happens to be Muslim. Never before happened. His actions have shown his love for America.
New Jersey’s senior Senator, Bob Menendez, said Quraishi’s story “embodies both the rich diversity of New Jersey and the promise of America as a place where anything is possible,” in a speech on the Senate floor before the confirmation vote.
“Zahid Quraishi is a man of integrity, a consummate public servant, and a trailblazer for Asian Americans and Muslim Americans across this country who dream of one day presiding over a court of their own. We should all draw inspiration from his story because it is a story that could only take place in the United States of America.”
Quraishi was a military prosecutor, rising to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2006. Quraishi later went on to serve as the U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.