Middle East

US: First Muslim woman confirmed as federal judge

The US Senate has officially confirmed Nusrat Choudhury as a federal judge, making history as the first Muslim woman and the first Bangladeshi American to join the federal judicial bench.

The 50-49 vote took place on Thursday and passed along party lines. Choudhury will assume her lifetime appointment in Brooklyn Federal Court in New York.

She will be the second Muslim judge on the federal bench, after Zahid Quraishi, a district judge for the District of New Jersey. 

“Nusrat Choudhury is a trailblazing civil rights lawyer with a remarkable record of advancing equal justice for all in our nation,” Anthony Romero, ACLU’s executive director, said in a statement. 

He added that Choudhury’s confirmation is “an exclamation point on her long track record of protecting civil liberties and civil rights”.

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Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, among others, opposed her nomination because of her work in police reform.

“Law enforcement officers in West Virginia and across the country go above and beyond the call of duty to protect our communities, and I am incredibly grateful for their service,” Manchin said in a statement, CNN reported

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“Some of Ms Choudhury’s previous statements call into question her ability to be unbiased towards the work of our brave law enforcement.”

Choudhury was among the eight nominees announced by the White House on 19 January 2022.

She served as the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois, a position she held since 2020. 

Before that, she served as the deputy director of the national ACLU’s racial justice programme, following a stint as a senior staff attorney for the organisation’s national security project, and was a Marvin M Karpatkin fellow.

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