The US Senate has approved the historic nomination of Pakistani-American Zahid Quraishi to the District Court in New Jersey, making him the first Muslim federal judge in the country’s history.
The Senate voted 81-16 on Thursday to confirm Quraishi, 46.
As many as 34 Republicans joined the Democrats in confirming the first-ever Muslim-American as a federal judge.
Currently a magistrate judge for the District of New Jersey, Quraishi would now make history when he will be sworn in as the Judge of the US District Court of New Jersey.
“Judge Quraishi has devoted his career to serving our country, and his story embodies both the rich diversity of New Jersey and the promise of America as a place where anything is possible,” said Senator Robert Menendez during a speech on the Senate floor before the confirmation vote.
Menendez is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Zahid Quraishi is a man of integrity, a consummate public servant, and a trailblazer for Asian-Americans and Muslim-Americans across this country who dream of one day presiding over a court of their own,” he said.
“We should all draw inspiration from his story because it is a story that could only take place in the United States of America,” Menendez said.
The US District Court of New Jersey is one of the busiest in the country, with 46,000 cases pending before it and with judges facing individual caseloads more than triple the national average.
Quraishi, who is of Pakistani ancestry, is the first Asian-American to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey.
He was born in New York and grew up in Fanwood, New Jersey with his parents, both immigrants from Pakistan who came to this country to build a better life,” Menendez said.