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Obama nominates first Muslim to federal judiciary

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September 7, 2016

It is unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate will schedule the confirmation process of the Pakistan-born Abid Qureshi.

Pakistan-born Abid Qureshi could be the first Muslim to be a federal judge of the U.S if the Senate confirms his nomination. President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Qureshi for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, continuing with his efforts to diversify the ethnic composition of the country’s judiciary.

Mr. Obama has only four months left in the office, and it is unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate will schedule the confirmation process. The Republicans have refused to consider Mr. Obama’s judicial nominees for several months now, including one to the Supreme Court.

The President has been persistent throughout this tenure to bring people of various ethnic origins on to benches at all levels. Indian-American Sri Srinivasan, U.S Circuit Judge in the District of Columbia was considered for nomination to the SC earlier this year. Mr. Obama had nominated him as a federal judge in 2013. The President also nominated the first Hispanic judge on the SC.

According to White House spokesperson Josh Earnest, “he has appointed 117 minorities to the federal judiciary. That’s more than any other President. He has appointed 26 African American women to the federal bench. That is more than any other President. He’s appointed 37 Hispanics to the federal bench. That is more than any other President. He’s appointed 20 Asians to the federal bench. That is more than any other President. And he has appointed 11 LGBT judges. That is more than every other President combined.”

Trump’s opposition

The nomination of Mr. Qureshi is particularly significant given the racially surcharged presidential election campaign that is underway. Republican nominee Donald Trump has raked up the ethnic origins of a Latino judge hearing a case of fraud against him. Many Republican leaders denounced Mr. Trump’s position, but he went on to state that a Muslim judge also could not be impartial towards him.

Read more at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/obama-nominates-pakistanborn-abid-qureshi-to-federal-judiciary/article9080955.ece