Nusrat Choudhury Confirmed as US’ First Muslim Female Federal Judge by Senate

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The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois, Nusrat Choudhury, was confirmed to bw the first Muslim female federal judge as confirmed by the US Senate on Thursday.

Nusrat Choudhury (Photo: Reuters)

Civil rights lawyer Nusrat Choudhury was narrowly confirmed by the US Senate on Thursday to the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, marking her as the first Bangladeshi-American and female Muslim federal judge in the United States.

With a 50-49 vote, Choudhury, who serves as the legal director of the ACLU of Illinois, secured her place in history and will also become the first Bangladeshi-American federal judge.

Nusrat Choudhury, with a dedicated career at the national ACLU, prioritized racial justice and national security issues. She served as the deputy director of the organization’s racial justice program from 2018 to 2020.

In January 2022, US President Joe Biden nominated her for the federal bench. Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer praised Choudhury’s qualifications, stating that her experience as a skilled civil rights litigator has equipped her to serve on the federal bench with integrity and professionalism.

He expressed confidence in her ability to administer justice impartially, based on facts and a deep respect for the rule of law.

During her confirmation process, Nusrat Choudhury encountered opposition from certain Senate Republicans due to inconsistencies in her responses regarding comments made at a 2015 event held at Princeton University.

These comments allegedly referred to daily police killings of unarmed Black men. In a letter addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee panel, Choudhury clarified that such a statement contradicts her deep respect for law enforcement.

Choudhury possesses experience as a clerk for a judge in the Southern District of New York trial court, as well as the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which handles cases from federal courts in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont.

In addition to Choudhury’s historic confirmation, President Joe Biden appointed US District Judge Zahid Quraishi as the first Muslim judge in US history. The Senate confirmed Quraishi’s appointment to the New Jersey federal trial court in 2021.

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Toshika Chauhan

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