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Biden Court Picks Include First Muslim-American Federal Nominee

March 30, 2021, 10:39 AM

President Joe Biden announced a slate of 11 federal judge nominees Tuesday that placed a heavy emphasis on his stated goal of promoting diversity.

The picks -- Biden’s first to the federal bench since taking office Jan. 20 -- included Zahid Quraishi, who would be the first Muslim-American federal judge in U.S. history, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, one of three Black women selected to fill appeals court vacancies.

“This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession,” Biden said in an e-mailed statement. “Each is deeply qualified and prepared to deliver justice faithfully under our Constitution and impartially to the American people — and together they represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong.”

Biden starts off behind his predecessors in terms of total current vacancies he has available to fill, according to a recent Brookings Institution report. Of the past six presidents, only Ronald Reagan in 1981 had fewer already vacant seats by this time in his presidency.

All the nominations are pending U.S. Senate confirmation.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Kathleen Hunter in London at;
Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Alex Wayne at

Kathleen Miller

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