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Nusrat Jahan Choudhury confirmed as first Muslim woman to be federal judge | US politics

The US Senate has confirmed former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Nusrat Jahan Choudhury as the first Muslim woman federal judge on Thursday.

Choudhury, 46, is also the first Bangladeshi American to serve in this lifetime position. She will serve as a judge on the US court for the eastern district of New York.

All federal judges must be approved by the Senate, which confirmed her appointment in a narrow 50-49 decision.

The conservative Democrat Joe Manchin voted against her confirmation because he said he believed some of her past comments made her biased against law enforcement.

“As a staunch supporter of our men and women in uniform, I opposed Ms Choudhury’s nomination,” Manchin said in a statement.

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Manchin also opposed the confirmation of two other Biden-nominated federal judges: Dale Ho, a judge on the southern district of New York, and Nancy Abudu, a judge on the US court of appeals for the 11th circuit. They were confirmed without his support.

Once the deputy director of ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, Choudhury has a track record for fighting racial profiling and unequal treatment of the poor.

Her bio on the ACLU’s website says: “Nusrat helped secure the first federal court ruling striking down the US government’s no-fly list procedures for violating due process.

“She filed litigation to challenge the NYPD’s unjustified and discriminatory profiling of Muslims for surveillance, which resulted in a court-ordered settlement agreement, and to secure public records about the FBI’s racial and ethnic mapping program.”

In a virtual ACLU event in March 2021, Choudhury said: “As a Muslim young girl of color here in the Chicago area, race was a part of my reality. It led to police stops that shouldn’t have ever happened; it led to family members facing problems at airports; and led to what I saw around me, which was dramatic residential segregation and different opportunities for people of color than for white people in the city of Chicago.”

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The US’s first Muslim federal judge ever appointed was Zahid Quraishi in 2021.

Erum Salam

Published: 2023-06-15 20:50:37

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