President Obama continues to make history.
The president nominated Abid Riaz Qureshi to become a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
“I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”
As The Washington Examiner reported, Qureshi is the first Muslim nominated to become a federal judge:
Qureshi, a partner in a Washington law firm who specializes in False Claims Act cases, healthcare fraud and securities violations, is the first Muslim nominated to the federal bench.
Qureshi is a partner for Latham & Watkins LLC in the Litigation & Trials department. Latham & Watkins is the highest grossing law firm in the world with over $2.6 billion in revenue and is considered one of the most prestigious.
After a seven week Congressional recess, the nomination of Qureshi signals confrontation over judicial appointments. Judge Merrick Garland, tapped to replace the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia, is yet to receive a Senate appointment hearing.
The Huffington Post acknowledged the nomination is unlikely to go any further, but lauded it for its “symbolic value”:
But the nomination carries a symbolic value: It lands in the midst of a chaotic presidential campaign in which GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has said that a Muslim federal judge wouldn’t treat him fairly because of his calls for banning Muslims from entering the country. Trump made similarly bigoted charges that a Latino federal judge would be biased against him because he has advocated for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Muslim advocacy groups likewise heralded the nomination.
“I commend President Obama for taking this important step in continuing to pick the best and brightest from every community to serve as part of our nation’s judiciary,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates.
“A judiciary that reflects the rich diversity of our nation helps ensure the fair and just administration of the law, and it is vital for American Muslims to be included,” Khera said, adding, “Mr. Qureshi’s profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee.”