Congresswoman Meng, MuBANY and SABANY Deliver Letter to Vice President Biden and Senator Harris Requesting Public Commitment to Appointment of Judges Who Identify As Muslim to Federal Judiciary, If Elected

On October 9, 2020, Congresswoman Grace Meng, from New York’s 6th District and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, signed and delivered a letter to the Biden/Harris Campaign, which requests that the candidates publicly commit to the appointment of judges who identify as Muslim to the federal judiciary. The Muslim Bar Association of New York (“MuBANY”) led in drafting of the letter, and the South Asian Bar Association of New York (“SABANY”) signed on to the letter as well. A copy of the letter can be found below.

As noted in the letter, Vice President Biden and Senator Harris’ nominations “come at a turning point for our nation, where the dual crisis of a global pandemic and re-awakened demands for racial justice and equity, require us to evaluate how our institutions – including the federal judiciary – treat and serve all communities.” 

Remarkably, “as of 2020, there is to our knowledge no appointed member of the federal judiciary who identifies as Muslim, nor has there ever been.” 

This, “despite the fact that Muslims role in America pre-dates the founding of the nation; where 10-15% of enslaved persons were Muslims, and who in no uncertain terms experienced the gravest injustice that our system is meant to redress and protect.” As detailed in the letter, the Muslim American community is currently one of the most ethnically diverse faith communities in the U.S., yet is absent from the federal judiciary.

Congresswoman Meng, MuBANY and SABANY hope that the Biden/Harris campaign consider this request, and hope to be a resource in identifying relevant candidates in this endeavor.