President Obama Nominates Norton Recommendation, Abid Qureshi, for D.C. District Court Judge

Sep 6, 2016
Press Release

Qureshi Would Be First Muslim Appointed to Lifetime Tenure Judgeship

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that President Obama has nominated Abid Qureshi to become a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, as recommended by Norton.  Norton said Qureshi would be the first-ever Muslim appointed to a lifetime tenure judgeship.  Qureshi currently is a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP (Latham).

“Abid Qureshi would bring the skills, leadership, and experience in the law and the outstanding character that would enable him to be an excellent district court judge on a court that now has many judges with remarkable reputations,” Norton said.  “In addition, Mr. Qureshi’s appointment would be historic as the first Muslim to hold a lifetime tenure judgeship.”

Qureshi has spent his career engaged in a full array of federal laws at the Washington, D.C. office of Latham, a global law firm.  His practice includes commercial litigation, white collar criminal matters, government investigations, regulatory proceedings and internal investigations.  Since 2012, he has served as the global chair of the firm’s pro bono committee, where he helps manage one of the world’s largest pro bono programs.  From March 2007-2011, Qureshi served as co-chair of the litigation department in the firm’s D.C. office, where he helped manage work allocations for more than 100 attorneys and hire associates and partners.  From 2001-2006, Qureshi served on the firm’s ethics committee, advising the D.C. office’s more than 200 lawyers on professional responsibility, conflicts-of-interest and other matters.  Qureshi is a graduate of Cornell University, summa cum laude, and Harvard Law School, cum laude.  Since 2015, he also has served on the District of Columbia Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee.

President Obama, like President Clinton, granted Norton senatorial courtesy to recommend candidates for federal district court judges and other important federal law enforcement officials in the District.  Norton recommended Qureshi from a number of well-qualified candidates screened by her Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission, chaired by Pauline Schneider, a former president of the D.C. Bar.  President Obama has nominated and the Senate has confirmed ten of Norton’s recommendations for district court judges—Amit Mehta, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Amy Berman Jackson, James E. Boasberg, Rudolph Contreras, Beryl A. Howell, Casey Cooper, Tanya Chutkan, Randolph Moss, and Robert Wilkins, who was the first of Norton’s recommendations to President Obama for a vacancy on the district court and who has since been elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  The nominations of two other Norton recommendations for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Todd Edelman and Florence Pan, are currently pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.