Nusrat Jahan Choudhury, a Bangladeshi American lawyer, has made history as the first Muslim woman to be confirmed as a federal judge in the United States. The US Senate confirmed her nomination, marking a significant milestone.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the confirmation in a tweet, stating that Ms. Choudhury would serve as a US District Judge for the Eastern District of New York. Schumer, a New York Democrat, expressed pride in recommending her to President Joe Biden, highlighting her role as an ACLU Legal Director.
Ms. Choudhury, a civil rights attorney, was nominated by President Biden in January. After a narrow vote of 50-49, she secured the life-tenured position as a federal judge on May 15.
Zahid Quraishi, an American lawyer of Pakistani descent, previously became the first Muslim American federal judge in US history. Like Ms. Choudhury, he was appointed by President Biden and confirmed as a federal judge for the District of New Jersey in 2021.
Throughout her career, Ms. Choudhury has been at the forefront of litigation to protect immigrants from unsafe detention conditions. Her work as part of the ACLU has advanced various causes, including defending First Amendment rights, advocating for government transparency, seeking criminal justice and policing reform, protecting voting rights, ensuring access to reproductive healthcare, promoting gender equity, and fighting for the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals, children in foster care, youth in juvenile detention, and incarcerated individuals.
At the ACLU, Ms. Choudhury led initiatives to challenge racial profiling, unlawful stop-and-frisk policies, unwarranted surveillance of people of color, and practices that disproportionately punish individuals based on their socioeconomic status. Her efforts to combat unjust practices related to poverty, lack of court hearings, consideration of financial capabilities, and legal representation have contributed to changes promoting fairness and equal treatment for individuals of all socioeconomic backgrounds within the court system.