The United States Senate has just confirmed Zahid Quraishi as a federal judge, making him the first Muslim American federal judge in the history of the country.
Prior to his appointment as a federal judge on Thursday, Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, served as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The confirmation for the federal judge was held during a Senate hearing.
United States President Joe Biden nominated 46-year-old Quraishi in March for the position of a federal judge. The Democratic leader also nominated 10 other judicial candidates, who, if confirmed, will make Senate history.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke about the historic vote regarding Quraishi before Thursday's confirmation hearing. He noted how the official will become the first American Muslim in the history of the United States to have the position of Article III federal judge.
Muslims are recorded as the third-largest religion in the United States and Quraishi will be the first of them to serve the position. America must expand its professional diversity in addition to its demographic diversity, Schumer said, ad arguing Biden supports the idea, Reuters via Yahoo reported.
New Jersey has just broken another barrier, Gov. Phil Murphy said about Quraishi's confirmation as a federal judge. The 63-year-old official congratulated the newest member of the federal bench for the district. Murphy noted how Quraishi's experiences, which include being a captain in the army, an attorney, and a federal magistrate judge, make him reliable for the position.
Murphy also congratulated President Biden for the historic confirmation, thanking both Senator Menendez and Senator Booker for their contribution to the momentous occasion.
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Quraishi has had extensive working experience serving the public in relation to legal matters, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said in a statement on Thursday. He added the lawmaker was a son of Pakistani immigrants, CNN reported.
The vote on whether or not Quraishi would become a federal judge or not resulted in a unanimous 81-16. He received bipartisan support from the upper chamber. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Quraishi's nomination with bipartisan support.
Additionally, the Senate also advanced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Many consider the position to be the second-most powerful court in the United States. Officials generally consider Jackson as a frontrunner for the Supreme Court if there is a vacancy.
Many progressive groups have also been urging Justice Stephen Breyer, the oldest member of the court's liberal bloc, to retire. The vacancy would allow President Biden to name a successor. The Democratic president has previously committed to name judges to the U.S. courts to expand its diversity with regards to their background and professional experiences.
If confirmed, Judge Florence Pan would become the first Asian-American woman on the district court in D.C. and Judge Lydia Griggsby would become the first woman of color to be seated as a federal judge in Maryland if the Senate approves her nomination, CBS News reported.