Barack Obama nominates Muslim American for federal bench

Barack Obama nominates Muslim American for federal bench
This photo provided by Latham & Watkins LLP shows attorney Abid Riaz Qureshi of Maryland. (AP)
Updated 07 September 2016

Barack Obama nominates Muslim American for federal bench

Barack Obama nominates Muslim American for federal bench

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has nominated a Washington, D.C., attorney for the federal bench. If confirmed, he would be the first Muslim American to serve as a federal judge.
Obama has nominated Abid Riaz Qureshi of Maryland for the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Qureshi’s bio at Latham & Watkins LLP says he specializes in cases involving fraud and securities violations.
An advocacy group called Muslim Advocates is applauding the nomination, saying that diversity helps ensure the fair administration of the law, and it is vital for Muslims to be included.
However, Senate confirmation is uncertain. Congress is in an abbreviated session, and the Senate is scheduled to meet only until the first week in October.
Qureshi is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where he specializes in cases involving the False Claims Act, health care fraud, and securities violations. He currently serves as the Global Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, a position he has held since 2012.
From 2006 to 2011, he served as Co-Chair of the Litigation Department in the Washington, DC office. Qureshi has also served on the District of Columbia Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Committee since 2015.
Born in Pakistan, Qureshi earned his bachelor’s degree in 1993 from Cornell University and his law degree in 1997 from Harvard Law School. If confirmed, he would fill the seat left by US District Judge Rosemary Collyer, who took senior status in May. President Obama’s nomination of Qureshi has been hailed by the Muslim American community.
“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. Qureshi’s profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee,” she said.
“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, former counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee and executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy organization.