US Senate confirms first Muslim woman federal judge


Nusrat Jahan Choudhury, a Bangladeshi-American lawyer, was confirmed Thursday by the U.S. Senate, making her the first Muslim woman on the federal bench.

Choudhury, 47, was confirmed in a 50-49 vote, with Senator Joe Manchin, the only Democrat to vote against her confirmation.

She will serve the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. She is the second Muslim to be confirmed to the federal bench after Zahid Quraishi, a Pakistani-American, in 2021.

Before being nominated to the bench by President Joe Biden in January 2022, Nusrat Jahan spent her entire legal career with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nonprofit organization founded in 1920 “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person” by the U.S. Constitution.

She was most recently the legal director of the ACLU of Illinois. She previously worked with the ACLU’s racial justice programme, filing lawsuits fighting racial discrimination around the country including against the federal government – charging the FBI “no-fly-list” violated due process – and against the New York Police Department over alleged discriminatory practices.

Senate Republicans and democrat Manchin shared concerns that some of Choudhury’s past remarks about police violence against Black people could show a bias.

“Previous statements call into question her ability to be unbiased towards the work of our brave law enforcement,” Manchin said in a statement on Wednesday.__Daily Times