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Biden nominee would be 1st Muslim woman to serve as federal judge

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Nusrat Jahan Choudhury to the federal judiciary Wednesday, who, if confirmed by the Senate, would become the first Muslim American woman to serve as a federal judge. She is also the first Muslim American woman to be nominated to the federal judiciary.

Choudhury was nominated to sit on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and is also the first Bangladeshi American to be nominated to the federal bench. She would be the second Muslim American appointed to a federal judgeship, according to the White House announcement.

“These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country,” the statement read.

Choudhury is currently the legal director at the Illinois division of the American Civil Liberties Union and previously served as the deputy director of the national ACLU Racial Justice Program. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, Columbia University and Princeton University.

The other nominees include Arianna Freeman, who would be the first African American woman to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; Ana Isabel de Alba, who would be the first Latina to serve on the Eastern District of California; and Nina Nin-Yuen Wang, who would be the second Asian American to serve the United States District Court. Tiffany Cartwright, Robert Steven Huie, Natasha Merle and Jennifer Rearden round out the president’s first set of nominees for 2022 and the 13th of his presidency.

The selections align with Biden’s goal of nominating more women and people of color to serve on the bench, jobs that come with a lifetime appointment. The trend is in stark contrast to his predecessor.

Former President Donald Trump’s nominees were 85% white and 76% of them were men, according to the Alliance for Justice advocacy group. To date, 78% of Biden’s confirmations have been women and 53% have been people of color, according to the White House.

Democrats have pushed Biden to make federal court nominations a priority after Trump and former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a concerted effort to shape the nation’s courts.

Over the course of one term, Trump had 245 judges confirmed compared with Former President Barack Obama’s 334 confirmed judges across two terms according to the United States Courts.

As of Jan, 1, however, Biden had gotten the most federal judges confirmed in a president’s first year in office since former President Ronald Reagan.

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