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First Muslim woman confirmed as a federal judge

Nusrat Choudhury, who spent her career as a civil rights attorney, will also be the first Bangladeshi American federal judge.
Nusrat Jahan Choudhury, nominee to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on judicial nominations in Dirksen Building on April 27, 2022.
Nusrat Jahan Choudhury, the nominee to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for Eastern New York, testifies April 27, 2022. Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

The U.S. will have its first Bangladeshi American and first Muslim female federal judge after the Senate confirmed Nusrat Choudhury on Thursday.

President Joe Biden nominated Choudhury, a civil rights attorney, to the U.S. District Court for Eastern New York in January, and she was confirmed to the life-tenured position with a narrow margin of 50-49 votes.

Most recently, Choudhury was the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, and, according to her online bio, she has a track record of advancing criminal justice reform, immigrants' rights and access t reproductive care. She was previously the deputy director of the ACLU's Racial Justice program.

"Congratulations to Nusrat Choudhury, legal director of the ACLU of Illinois, on her confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York," the ACLU tweeted. "Nusrat is a trailblazing civil rights lawyer and her confirmation will be an asset to our nation’s legal system."

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., released a statement Wednesday opposing Choudhury's nomination over her support for criminal justice reform.

“Law enforcement officers in West Virginia and across the country go above and beyond the call of duty to protect our communities, and I am incredibly grateful for their service," his statement read. "Some of Ms. Choudhury’s previous statements call into question her ability to be unbiased towards the work of our brave law enforcement."