Posted on June 16, 2023

Choudhury Confirmed as First Muslim Woman Federal Judge

Tiana Headley, Bloomberg, June 15, 2023

ACLU lawyer Nusrat Jahan Choudhury won confirmation as the first Muslim woman and first Bangladeshi-American to serve as a life-tenured federal judge.

The Senate confirmed the civil rights lawyer on Thursday, 50-49, to a seat on the Brooklyn-based US District for the Eastern District of New York.


“Her confirmation today means that someone who has worked in the civil rights trenches and confronted barriers to justice that exist in too many communities will be making critical decisions as a federal judge,” Omar Farah, director of the civil rights group Muslim Advocates, said in a statement.

Senate Judiciary Republicans had requested a rehearing last year for Choudhury, saying she’d provided conflicting responses to questions about whether she’d made a statement that police killings of unarmed Black men happen every day in the US.


At her April 2022 confirmation hearing, Choudhury said her parents were born in what is now Bangladesh. Her father won a Fulbright grant to come to the US where he worked for 40 years as a physician in the Chicago area, which is where she was born.

“As a Muslim young girl of color here in the Chicago area, race was a part of my reality,” Choudhury said during a virtual ACLU of Illinois program in March 2021. “It led to police stops that shouldn’t have ever happened, it led to family members facing problems at airports and led to what I saw around me, which was dramatic residential segregation and different opportunities for people of color than for white people in the city of Chicago.”