Son of Pakistani Immigrants Becomes the First Muslim American Federal Judge in US History

Zahid Quraishi

A Pakistani American has just become the first Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history after the Senate confirmed him as a district judge for the District of New Jersey on Thursday.

About the judge: Zahid Quraishi, 46, a son of Pakistani immigrants, earned the judicial seat following a Senate vote of 81-16, NBC reported.

  • Quraishi was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey.
  • After earning his law degree from Rutgers Law School, he joined a law firm in 2001.
  • Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Quraishi enlisted in the Army and served two tours in Iraq in 2004 and 2006, according to NPR.
  • Quraishi then worked for the Department of Homeland Security and then served in the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey before returning to private practice.
  • In 2019, he became the first Asian American to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey when he was appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge.

Historic nomination: President Joe Biden included Quraishi among the diverse nominees in his first judicial nominations announced in March

  • Before the vote, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., called Quraishi’s confirmation “a real moment of breakthrough” for a “person who has shown their patriotism.”
  • American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee chairman Dr. Ijaz Ahmad expressed his gratitude for Biden’s nomination of the judge and the Senate’s confirmation.
  • “He is a model for the outstanding contributions that Pakistani and Muslim Americans make to this country every day,” Ahmad said.

Featured Image via Getty

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