A civil rights lawyer is on the verge of becoming the first Bangladeshi American and just the second Muslim to ever serve as a federal judge after US President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated her for the Eastern District of New York.
If confirmed Nusrat Choudhury would also become the first Muslim woman to serve on a federal bench.
Ms Nusrat Jahan Choudhury is legal director of the prestigious American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois and had previously worked as the deputy director of the ACLU Racial Justice Programme.
“Nusrat Choudhury’s nomination to the federal bench is historic — as the first Bangladeshi American and first Muslim woman to serve on the federal bench and the second Muslim American,” ACLU of Illinois Executive Director Colleen Connell said in a statement.
“During her tenure as legal director in Illinois, she has among other things led our legal team in efforts to improve policing in Chicago, protect medically-vulnerable persons detained on immigration charges during the COVID pandemic in Illinois county jails, and challenged unfair practices that drive Chicago residents into bankruptcy to pay fines and fees,” Connell added.
A graduate of Columbia University, Princeton University, and Yale Law School, Ms Choudhury has previously led litigation to protect immigrants from dangerous detention conditions and serves as counsel for community organizations seeking to reform Chicago police patterns of excessive force.
At the national ACLU, she led efforts to challenge racial profiling and unlawful stop-and-frisk, the targeting of people of color for surveillance without evidence of wrongdoing, and practices that disproportionately punish people for being poor.
Ms Choudhury’s historic nomination is expected to be confirmed by the United States Senate in the coming days.