Obama nominates first Muslim-American federal judge

BY JOHN T. BENNETT
CQ-ROLL CALL TNS

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s nomination of a Washington, D.C.-based securities and fraud attorney to the federal bench would make him the country’s first Muslim-American judge on a U.S. court.

160909_front02The president late Tuesday tapped Abid Riaz Qureshi of Maryland to join the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Qureshi is a lawyer for Latham & Watkins LLP, where he has spent his entire career since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1997.

“I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench,” the president said. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”

Confirmation uncertain
Whether the Senate will confirm him remains unclear. One reason is time.

The chamber will only be in for a few weeks this month before taking off all of October to campaign, then the remainder of the year will be reserved for a likely contentious sprint toward a year-end spending bill.

Another reason could be congressional Republicans’ reluctance to put a career corporate lawyer on a federal bench, and to allow Obama to boast about another “first” for a U.S. president.

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