Abid Riaz Qureshi

Abid Riaz Qureshi

*Now here’s a bold move (and a screw you to Donald Trump  and his ilk), on the part of President Obama. Today he announced that he has nominated a Muslim-American lawyer, Abid Riaz Qureshi, to serve in U.S. District Court — a move that could make him the first ever Muslim-American federal judge, according to advocates.

It goes with question that Muslim-Americans are giddy over the news. If confirmed, Qureshi would sit on the District of Columbia’s federal bench, says the White House. Qureshi, who graduated Harvard Law School in 1997, is a partner in the D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, specializing in healthcare fraud, securities violations, and cases involving the False Claims Act, according to a White House statement.

“I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice,” Obama said.

Muslim-American organizations hailed the historic announcement.

“The nomination of Abid Qureshi to fill a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia sends a message of inclusion that is welcomed by the American Muslim community and by all Americans who value diversity and mutual respect at a time when some seek division and discord,” Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, said in a statement.

Even though Muslim Americans have filled roles as state judges, none have served at the federal trial or appellate levels, according to Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy organization.

“A judiciary that reflects the rich diversity of our nation helps ensure the fair and just administration of the law, and it is vital for American Muslims to be included,” Farhana Khera, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and executive director of Muslim Advocates, said in a statement. “Mr. Qureshi’s profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee.”

Naturally, Qureshi’s nomination comes during the current presidential race in which Muslims have been castigated by GOP nominee Donald Trump who has even proposed of a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.