President Barack Obama has nominated a Pakistani-American, the first Muslim on the federal judiciary bench for the US District Court of Columbia. “I am pleased to nominate Mr Qureshi to serve on the US District court bench. I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice,” Obama said in a statement.
Abid Riaz Qureshi is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where he specialises in cases involving the False Claims Act, health care fraud, and securities violations. He currently serves as the Global Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, a position he has held since 2012.
From 2006 to 2011, he served as Co-Chair of the Litigation Department in the Washington, DC office. Qureshi has also served on the District of Columbia Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Committee since 2015.
Born in Pakistan, Qureshi earned his bachelor’s degree in 1993 from Cornell University and his law degree in 1997 from Harvard Law School. If confirmed, he would fill the seat left by US District Judge Rosemary Collyer, who took senior status in May. President Obama’s nomination of Qureshi has been hailed by the Muslim American community.
“A judiciary that reflects the rich diversity of our nation helps ensure the fair and just administration of the law, and it is vital for American Muslims to be included. Qureshi’s profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee,” she said.
“I commend President Obama for taking this important step in continuing to pick the best and brightest from every community to serve as part of our nation’s judiciary,” said Farhana Khera, former counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee and executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy organisation.