Yesterday, President Barack Obama nominated the first Muslim to the federal judiciary, Mr. Abid Qureshi.“I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench,” declared President Obama. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.” Mr. Qureshi is currently a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP and would fill a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
With just months left in Obama’s term, Senate Republicans have stopped confirming the president’s judicial picks and many say that Mr. Qureshi’s nomination serves a symbolic function. But with all the anti-Muslim rhetoric in this campaign season, many Muslim leaders are welcoming the gesture, symbolism and all.
“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,” says Farhana Khera, Executive Director of Muslim Advocates. “A judiciary that reflects the rich diversity of our nation helps ensure the fair and just administration of the law, and it is vital for American Muslims to be included. Mr. Qureshi’s profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee.”