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First Muslim American Nominated to Federal Court

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First Muslim American Nominated to Federal Court

Jason Morrison

Jason Morrison

Jason Morrison

Natalya Swartz, Staff Reporter

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On Sept. 1,  President Obama nominated Abid Qureshi for the Federal Court of Washington D.C. If accepted, Qureshi would be the first Muslim American to serve on the federal court.

According to The New York Times, Qureshi’s nomination has been met with support by such organizations as the Council of Islamic-American Relations, according to The New York Times.

In a statement to The New York Times,  executive  director of the council Nihad Awad looks forward to Mr. Qureshi joining the multitude of Muslim-Americans already helping society.

News of the nomination quickly reached the OHS community.

Ruby Sumbal (12) said it is important and progressive that Mr. Qureshi is being considered for this position.

“With all the controversy that has been around with Donald Trump, I feel like [the nomination] actually really helps people realize Muslims are people too,” Sumbal said.

Obama has appointed 138 women and 120 minorities to federal judgeships, according to NPR. This increased push for diversity is one of Obama’s major initiatives in creating a more inclusive government.

In an interview with NPR, Kathryn Ruemmler, a partner at Qureshi’s law firm, said [paraphrase]

“Having judges who are reflective of the nation as a whole just brings public confidence into our court system.”

City lawyer Anita Fox said diversity in the court system is important.

“One of the things that is unique about our democracy is that our court decisions are in large part self-executing, and military force is not needed to enforce court orders. When groups of people feel alienated from the courts, that foundation is threatened. In our own history we saw this when African-Americans were excluded from juries,” Fox said.

Sumbal also said it is important to have young and diverse justice that better reflect our nation’s people.

“Someone who’s in the middle of the road is definitely more important for the justice system because they’re the ones that uphold what laws are,” Sumbal said

Fox talked about the importance of a firm judicial base.

“The hope would be that the confirmation of Mr. Qureshi, a Harvard Law school graduate and accomplished lawyer, would be a step toward affirming our country’s values, where people are not to be judged by their religion, gender, or skin color, during a time when those values have been challenged by political rhetoric.”

Up until this point, Qureshi has worked at the D.C. law firm Latham & Watkins and is now waiting on the Senate’s approval to serve on the federal court.

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