HomePakistani AmericanSouth Asian Bar backs confirmation of first Muslim judge

South Asian Bar backs confirmation of first Muslim judge

By Randall Yip, Executive Editor

The South Asian Bar Association of North America this week joined the push for the confirmation of Adeel Mangi to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

If confirmed, the Pakistani American would sit on the bench in a district that encompasses New Jersey, Delaware and much of Pennsylvania. He would be the first Muslim American Circuit Court judge in history.

The vote to confirm him in the U.S. Senate is being held up because he currently does not have enough votes with Republicans and three Democrats opposing him.

“It is inexcusable that Mr. Mangi, who has advocated throughout his career for religious freedoms, would have doubt cast upon him because of his background as a Pakistani Muslim American,” the letter from the SABA of North America and 23 of its chapters said.

SABA expressed outrage at some of the questions directed at Mangi during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

“Do you condemn the atrocities of the Hamas terrorists?” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked. “Is there any justification for those atrocities?”

“Do you believe that Zionist settler colonialism was a provocation that justified Hamas’ atrocity against Jews in Israel?” asked Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).

The Brennan Center also said Sen John Kennedy (R-LA) insinuated that Mangi celebrates 9-11.

In an interview with AsAmNews, Phil Brest, a special assistant to the president who leads the efforts on judicial nominations said “He (Mangi) is essentially being tarnished by, you know, guilt by association, and attack that is totally untethered to his record. And that that is not how this process should run.”

Brest pointed to Mangi’s 25 years of legal expertise including submitting multiple Supreme Court amicus briefs on the first amendment and religious freedom in support of interfaith coalitions that included both Muslims and Jews.

“He has both trial and appellate experience. He is the kind of thoughtful, well credentialed individual that we’d be lucky to have on any court or let alone a circuit court. The American Bar Association, which is of course independent and nonpartisan, found him unanimously well qualified,” said Brest.

Among the Democrats expressing doubts about Mangi are Sen Phil Manchin (D-VA) and the two U.S. Senators from Nevada- Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen.

“Given the concerns I’ve heard from law enforcement in Nevada, I am not planning to vote to confirm this nominee,” Rosen said in a statement reported by Reuters. Manchin and Rosen have cited Mangi’s association with the Alliance of Families of Justice.

“This isn’t based on his record. This is based on fabricated claims that try to tie him to things he’s never said, to events he’s never attended, to individuals, he doesn’t know,” Brest said.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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