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
June 8,2021

Bengaluru, June 8: The Karnataka Common Entrance Test for various vocational courses, including engineering, is scheduled to be conducted on August 28 and 29.

"The CET exam will take place on August 28 and 29. Each subject will carry 60 marks," Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Maths and Biology exams will be held on the first day while Physics and Chemistry on the second day. Registration will commence from June 15, he said, adding that the PUC marks will not be taken into account. Narayan further said students will be required to score a minimum mark to clear the entrance test.

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News Network
June 11,2021

South Africa’s NICD (National Institute for Communicable Disease) has announced that the country has technically entered the third wave of COVID-19.

"South Africa technically entered the third wave today as the national 7-day moving average incidence (5959 cases) now exceeds the new wave threshold as defined by the Ministerial Advisory Committee," the institute tweeted.

The MAC advisory defined the new wave 7-day moving average threshold as 30 per cent of the peak incidence of the previous wave, it said.

Out of the nine provinces, Gauteng is the worst-hit province with over 5,000 daily new cases.

The latest statistics from NICD showed an increase of 844 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours and 127 additional hospital deaths.

As of 10 June, South Africa has recorded 9,149 new cases, 1,722,086 total cases and 57,410 deaths.

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News Network
June 11,2021

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Mumbai, June 11: Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Friday called on NCP president Sharad Pawar at the latter's residence here and held talks with him for around three hours, setting tongues wagging in political circles.

NCP sources said apart from discussing the prevailing political situation, Pawar hosted lunch for Kishor.

The meeting got over by around 2 pm, but neither Kishor nor Pawar spoke to the media persons gathered outside 'Silver Oak' (NCP chief's residence).

This is Kishor's first meeting with Pawar after the victory of the DMK and the TMC in the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively. He had helped craft the election strategy for these parties in the assembly elections. 

After the assembly poll results, the election strategist had said that he was "quitting this space". Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar downplayed the meeting, saying that Kishor has already said he will not be a political strategist anymore.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said many leaders are in touch with Kishor, while NCP's Chhagan Bhujbal said he was no aware of the agenda of the meeting.

Stating that Kishor was a successful political strategist, Bhujbal said he was sure that Pawar will take into account Kishor's suggestions.

Kishor had met Uddhav Thackeray in 2019 before the latter became chief minister. 

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