Zahid N Quraishi to be first ever Muslim federal judge in US history

News Network
March 31, 2021

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Washington, Mar 31: President Biden on Tuesday nominated Judge Zahid N. Quraishi to be a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, a move that would make the Army veteran the first-ever lifetime-appointed Muslim federal judge if confirmed. 

"This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession," the White House said in a statement Tuesday about a list that also included 10 other nominees. "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."

Quraishi was appointed in 2019 to be a magistrate judge in the District of New Jersey by the judges he now seeks to join on the bench. A magistrate judge is not technically considered a member of the federal bench the same way a district court or circuit judge is because the position is not outlined in the Constitution's Article III and magistrate judges are not appointed by the president. 

Magistrate judges are assigned by statute to oversee some matters and may also be delegated tasks by bona fide district judges.

Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, got his law degree from Rutgers Law School, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor.

Quraishi was a military prosecutor with the JAG Corps during his time in the Army and did deployments in Iraq in 2004 and 2006, according to his Rutgers bio page. He later worked with the Department of Homeland Security then served as a federal prosecutor in the District of New Jersey.

The Biden nominee has also received several honors for his work, according to his Rutgers bio, including the 2019 New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association Trailblazer of the Year Award.

Just before his magistrate judge appointment, Quraishi worked in white collar private practice at the law firm Riker Danzig, according to Rutgers, where he was also the chief diversity officer.

"The first Muslim-American who was nominated to serve on the federal bench was denied that opportunity to serve and that was Abid Qureshi," said Lena Zwarensteyn, the fair courts campaign senior director at the liberal Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights. Qureshi was nominated in late 2016, just months before former President Barack Obama left office. 

"It is certainly time that there is much more representation in terms of various faiths or even no faith on the bench," Zwarensteyn said. 

There are no hearings or votes scheduled for Quarishi or any of Biden's other nominees in the Senate, and it is not clear how fast the Senate Judiciary Committee will move forward with the nominations. 

"The Senate will work quickly to confirm President Biden’s superb and accomplished judicial picks," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement Tuesday. "America is so much better when our rich diversity is reflected in every aspect of society, especially our justice system. We will have hearings and confirm judges to fill the growing number of vacancies on the federal bench and significantly mitigate the influence of Donald Trump’s unqualified, right-wing judges."

But Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, aimed to pump the brakes on speeding the nominees through committee -- while also leaving open the possibility that Republicans could back some Biden's judiciary picks. 

"The Judiciary Committee must evaluate each nominee on his or her merits and qualifications. The committee should give them a hard look to see if they have the experience, the temperament, and the commitment to the Constitution necessary to be a federal judge," Grassley said. "We should neither be a rubber stamp, nor should we oppose nominees as a matter of course, as many Democrats did during the Trump administration."

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News Network
February 29,2024

drone.jpg

A German warship partaking in a European anti-Yemen coalition in the Red Sea has mistakenly opened fire on an American MQ-9 Reaper drone, reports say.

German media outlets carried the reports on Monday, describing the attack as a friendly fire incident.

According to Germany's Der Spiegel weekly, the warship fired two missiles at the aircraft, but both the projectiles crashed into the sea because of "a technical defect."

The "Hesse" frigate involved in the incident headed towards the Red Sea earlier this month as means of thwarting Yemen's pro-Palestine operations.

Yemen’s Armed Forces have been targeting Israeli vessels or those bound for the occupied territories’ ports in protest at the Israeli regime's October-present war against the Gaza Strip that has so far killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians.

The forces have vowed to keep up the operations as long as the Israeli regime sustained the war and a simultaneous siege that it has been employing against Gaza.

The German warship opened fire after efforts to identify an unknown drone "were unsuccessful," Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said, adding that the target was "not hit." The aircraft later turned out to be a "reconnaissance drone," he said.

The drone was apparently not related to a United States-led naval coalition that has been similarly operating in the Red Sea to confront the Yemeni operations.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper said it was "common knowledge that American combat drones are used in the region that have nothing to do with the [US-led] operation in the Red Sea."

Spiegel said military officials believed that the incident showed that coordination between allies involved in various missions in the region around Yemen "needs to be improved."

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News Network
February 26,2024

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has announced the resignation of his government due to the Israeli regime’s relentless ground and air strikes against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, and escalating violence in the occupied West Bank.

“This decision comes in light of the political, security, and economic developments related to the aggression against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank, including in the city of al-Quds,” Shtayyeh, who submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, said at a weekly cabinet session in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.

He added that the decision to resign was made because of what Palestinians, their cause and their political system are experiencing amid ferocious and unprecedented Israeli aggression, genocide, attempts at forced displacement and starvation in Gaza, besides intensified settler terrorism, repeated incursions into West Bank towns and villages.

He also referred to unprecedented financial strangulation, attempts to liquidate the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), repudiation of all signed agreements, gradual annexation of Palestinian lands, and bids to turn the Palestinian Authority into an administrative apparatus with no political weight.

Shtayyeh stressed that Palestinians will remain on the path of confronting the occupying Israeli regime, asserting that the Palestinian Authority will continue to struggle to establish a sovereign independent state on Palestinian lands.

Shtayyeh, who was appointed as prime minister in 2019, said in October that the current US administration doesn’t have the political will to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “They’re managing it,” he said.

The Israeli Knesset voted on Wednesday to support prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of an independent Palestinian state. Earlier, the Israeli cabinet had approved a declaration, rejecting any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinians hope to establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East al-Quds as its capital.

Israel occupied East al-Quds during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming all of al-Quds as its “eternal and undivided” capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

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News Network
February 29,2024

drone.jpg

A German warship partaking in a European anti-Yemen coalition in the Red Sea has mistakenly opened fire on an American MQ-9 Reaper drone, reports say.

German media outlets carried the reports on Monday, describing the attack as a friendly fire incident.

According to Germany's Der Spiegel weekly, the warship fired two missiles at the aircraft, but both the projectiles crashed into the sea because of "a technical defect."

The "Hesse" frigate involved in the incident headed towards the Red Sea earlier this month as means of thwarting Yemen's pro-Palestine operations.

Yemen’s Armed Forces have been targeting Israeli vessels or those bound for the occupied territories’ ports in protest at the Israeli regime's October-present war against the Gaza Strip that has so far killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians.

The forces have vowed to keep up the operations as long as the Israeli regime sustained the war and a simultaneous siege that it has been employing against Gaza.

The German warship opened fire after efforts to identify an unknown drone "were unsuccessful," Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said, adding that the target was "not hit." The aircraft later turned out to be a "reconnaissance drone," he said.

The drone was apparently not related to a United States-led naval coalition that has been similarly operating in the Red Sea to confront the Yemeni operations.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper said it was "common knowledge that American combat drones are used in the region that have nothing to do with the [US-led] operation in the Red Sea."

Spiegel said military officials believed that the incident showed that coordination between allies involved in various missions in the region around Yemen "needs to be improved."

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  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
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