Washington D.C. — Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Nusrat Jahan Choudhury to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If confirmed, Choudhury would be the first Bangladeshi-American, first Muslim woman and second American Muslim confirmed as a federal judge. Muslim Advocates worked to ensure that Sen. Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden recommended and nominated Choudhury. The group also organized a letter from faith and civil rights groups in support of the nomination and advised the Senate Judiciary Committee on avoiding anti-Muslim tropes during the confirmation hearing.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed:
“Nusrat Jahan Choudhury’s nomination is momentous for so many reasons. Ms. Choudhury is a first-generation attorney who has devoted her career to ensuring that all people—regardless of their income, education, or geographic location—are treated fairly by the legal system. We are particularly relieved that senators at the confirmation hearing totally avoided attacks based on her Muslim faith. Ms. Choudhury is an accomplished civil rights leader and she deserves to be judged on her record, not her identity. American Muslims have often faced discriminatory, anti-Muslim questions from similar Senate panels and we are pleased that did not happen today.
Education on anti-Muslim hate and how to combat it is essential to ensuring people of all backgrounds have a fair chance to serve publicly. Choudhury’s possible ascension to the federal bench would be a signal to all Americans that it is possible to be promoted to one of our country’s most powerful positions based on one’s own merits and a professional career entirely devoted to advancing justice, strengthening constitutional protections and protecting the marginalized.
We thank Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin for running a nomination hearing that avoided anti-Muslim tropes and attacks. We also thank President Joe Biden and Leader Schumer for their roles in making this historic nomination happen. We call on the Committee to advance the nominations of Ms. Choudhury and her equally accomplished co-panelists so that they may be confirmed by the full Senate.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.