Muslims reportedly are celebrating the nomination of Illinois' Civil Liberties Union Legal Director Nusrat Choudhury by President Joe Biden as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York last month.
Middle East Eye reported that Choudhury would become the first Muslim woman appointed to a federal judge position once Biden's nomination is confirmed. Choudhury is said to be a Bangladeshi American who previously worked as ACLU's Racial Justice Programme National Deputy Director.
Biden nominated Choudhury last January 19 along with seven other nominees to various federal district courts in line with a majority of current justices retiring from their posts. Choudhury is one among the thirteenth round of judicial nominees named by Biden whom he all called to be "extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution."
Biden highlighted Choudhury's professional exposure to various positions from 2008 to 2020 that delved on "racial justice." A summa cum laude from the Columbia University in 1998 for her B.A., Choudhury once served in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She also served under Judge Denise Cote for the Southern District Court of New York in 2007.
Accordingly, New York Senator Chuck Schumer recommended Choudhury to Biden for the nomination.
"I so was proud to recommend Nusrat Choudhury to @POTUS to serve as a federal judge for NY's Eastern District, and he just nominated her! She's an ACLU Legal Director. She'd be the 1st Bangladeshi American & 2nd Muslim American to serve as a federal judge," Schumer disclosed in Twitter.
Schumer's endorsement comes after Democratic Party Vice Chair Grae Meng requested Biden during his campaign to make a public commitment to nominate a Muslim as a federal judge. Meng sent a letter that was drafted by the Muslim Bar Association of New York to Biden highlighting the judiciary system's lack of representation. The South Asian Bar Association of New York sealed the letter with their signature.
"Judges who can empathize, at a deeper level, with members of the Muslim American community and other under-represented communities are critical to ensuring impartiality and fairness," Meng said.
"Your nominations come at a turning point for our nation, where the dual crisis of a global pandemic and re-awakened demands for racial justice and equity require us to evaluate how our institutions--including the federal judiciary--treat and serve all communities. The judiciary today does not reflect the America it presides over/ As of 2020, there is to our knowledge no appointed member of the federal judiciary who identifies as Muslim, nor has there ever been," she added.
Muslim Advocates Communications Director Eric Naing, on the other hand, wrote a letter to Schumer last year to recommend Choudhury as a fedral judge. Naing stressed that Choudhury has spent her life "fighting for civil rights."
"Nusrat has spent her whole career defending the civil rights of Muslim communities and other marginalized communities. She would break barriers as the first Muslim woman and Bangladeshi American federal judge, but maybe more importantly, she has spent her entire professional life in the trenches, with the community, fighting for civil rights," Naing said.
Biden overturned last March the "Muslim Travel Ban" that prohibits travelers from seven Muslim countries to enter the United States, along with many legislation and policies initiated by former President Donald Trump.