US President Biden nominates Adeel Mangi as first Muslim judge for circuit court

Published November 17, 2023
Adeel A. Mangi was nomianted by US President Joe Biden for federal judgeship. — Reuters
Adeel A. Mangi was nomianted by US President Joe Biden for federal judgeship. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden has nominated Adeel A. Mangi for a federal judgeship, and if confirmed, he would be the first Muslim-American and the first Pakistani on any US circuit court.

Mr Mangi, from a prominent Sindhi family, is among five nominees for federal judgeships released by the White House.

His nomination aligns with the administration’s commitment to diversify the judiciary. He has been nominated for the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, and covers the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands.

Born in Karachi, Mr Mangi received his Law degree from the University of Oxford in 1998. He attended Lincoln’s Inn and the Inns of Court School of Law in London, qualifying as a British Barrister at Law in 1999.

He received his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2000 and has since worked at Partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in New York as a civil litigator representing an array of clients in complex high-stakes cases.

He has devoted thousands of hours to pro bono service, filed numerous amicus briefs in the federal appellate courts and before the US Supreme Court on behalf of cross-faith religious coalitions, and, among his many other legal accomplishments, successfully fought on behalf of Muslim communities seeking to build and open mosques.

The White House emphasised his experience handling court filings, including representing a multi-faith coalition in a case before the Supreme Court.

Against the backdrop of rising Islamophobia and threats faced by the Muslim community, Mr Mangi’s nomination comes at a crucial time.

Push for diversity

President Biden’s push for diversity in judicial appointments, especially in the face of geopolitical challenges like the Middle East, reflects a broader commitment to addressing concerns within various communities.

All five nominees need to be confirmed by the US Senate before they are appointed.

The Sindhi Association of North American (SANA) welcomed Mr Mangi’s nomination. Dr Maqbool Halepoto, its president, and Mushtaq Rajpar, general secretary, said in a statement that “Adeel Mangi’s nomination gives hope to immigrants that when they work hard, their talents are recognised in this country”.

Senator Cory Booker, a member of the US Senate’s judiciary committee, applauded the nomination.

“Having come to know Adeel Mangi over the years as a fixture in the New Jersey legal community, I have seen firsthand that he is a person of integrity and deep conviction with an unflinching commitment to fairness and equality,” said Booker.

“I thank President Biden for this historic nomination, and I look forward to introducing Adeel Mangi to my colleagues on the Senate Judi­ciary Committee for his hearing.”

The nomination comes two years after the Senate voted to confirm the first Muslim-American federal judge, Zahid Quraishi, who now serves on a district court for New Jersey.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2023

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