Published on: Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Senate on Thursday confirmed the first-ever Muslim to serve on the federal bench, approving the nomination of Zahid N. Quraishi to a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (article available here).

"Mr. Quraishi will be the first American Muslim in United States history to serve as an Article III federal judge. The third largest religion in the United States, and he will become the first to ever serve as an Article III judge," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday in floor remarks ahead of the vote.

Prior to his confirmation, Quraishi has been serving as a United States magistrate judge in New Jersey. According to his biography, he is of Pakistani ancestry and has the distinction of being the first Asian-American to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey. He served as an federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey from 2008 to 2013. Before the U.S. Attorney's office, he served as an assistant chief counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also served as a military prosecutor and achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006.