White House: Attack on judicial nominee an ‘Islamophobic smear campaign’

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By journalsofus.com


President Biden’s choice to be the first Muslim judge on the US appeals court has come under intense criticism from members of Congress for his ties to a law school center for Muslim, Arab and South Asian Americans, part of what The White House has called for a “vicious, Islamophobic smear campaign” to stop the nomination.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday called on Biden to withdraw his nomination from Adeel A. Mangi to the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, citing widespread concerns about his nomination that are not “just among Republicans in the Senate.”

The White House criticized the effort to derail Mangi’s nomination and said Biden continues to support her.

“Mr. Mangi, who lived the American dream and demonstrated his integrity, is being targeted by a malicious and discredited smear campaign solely because he would make history as the first Muslim to serve as a federal appeals judge,” the spokesman said Wednesday. White House Andrew Bates “Senate Democrats should side with the qualities that make America exceptional, which Mr. Mangi embodies, and not the hateful forces trying to force America backwards.”

Republicans and conservative groups like the Judicial Crisis Network have accused Mangi of being anti-Semitic, and they and some Democrats have said he is anti-police. Republicans have also accused Mangi of sharing views expressed by panelists who spoke at events hosted by Rutgers Law School. Center for Safety, Race and Rights. Mangi, an experienced litigator and partner at a New York law firm, previously served on the center’s advisory board.

In 2021, on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2021 attacks, the center hosted a roundtable discussion involving several controversial speakers. Republicans criticized that event and a more recent one. conference about life under “violent occupation and settler colonial violence in Palestine” that the center hosted just days after the deadly October 7 Hamas attacks on communities in southern Israel.

During Mangi’s time At the Dec. 13 nomination hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) questioned the Harvard- and Oxford-trained lawyer about his views on the Hamas attacks and whether he believed they were justified.

“The events of October 7 were horrible. A horror,” Mangi said, noting that his time on the advisory board does not mean he shares the opinions of everyone who works or speaks at the center. “The attacks on civilians were abhorrent and go against everything I stand for. “I have no patience with any attempt to justify or defend such attacks against civilians.”

The storm surrounding Mangi’s nomination comes at a time of heightened political sensitivity following the cross-border attacks (in which some 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 taken hostage, according to Israeli officials) and the Israel crisis. retaliatory military campaign. At least 31,819 people have been killed and 73,934 wounded in Gaza since the war began, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Threats against Arabs, Jews and Muslim Americans are also increasing. according to federal officials.

Speaking on the Senate floor earlier this month, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Mangi a “highly qualified candidate with incredible credentials” who “has been through a scrutiny like I have never seen before.” “

but some Democratic lawmakers also expressed concern about Mangi’s nomination, citing her membership on the advisory board of a criminal justice group who advocates on behalf of incarcerated people and their families. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada) on Tuesday became the first Democratic senator to say she would oppose Mangi’s nomination.

“Mangi’s affiliation with the Families Alliance for Justice is deeply concerning,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “This organization has sponsored a scholarship in the name of Kathy Boudin, a member of the domestic terrorist organization Weather Underground, and has advocated for the release of people convicted of killing police officers. “I cannot support this candidate.”

If all Republican senators and Cortez Masto opposed his confirmation, the embattled lawyer would need the support of the remaining 50 senators. Democrats and independents to be confirmed. The Judicial Crisis Network has launched anti-Mangi ads in Montana, Pennsylvania and DC, targeted Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). Additionally, outgoing Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) he told Politico will not vote for any judicial candidate who does not have at least some bipartisan support.

Mangi has received criticism from more than a dozen law enforcement organizations, such as the New York Police Conference, according to Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. but another groupsincluding the Coalition of Underrepresented Law Enforcement Associations and the National Organization of Black Women in Law Enforcement support it, as do the AFL-CIO, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.

“Mangi was aggressively interrogated under thin pretext about his views on Israel, terrorism and anti-Semitism, turning these serious issues into a tool of partisan attack,” the AJC stated. saying in a sentence. “Elected officials should take a leadership role in calming fears of and against American religious minorities, such as Jews and Muslims, not stoking them.”

Other Republicans have expressed concern about Mangi’s work as a partner in Patterson Belknap Webb and Tylerwhere he has represented pharmaceutical giants and litigated against union pension plans, according to an internal document prepared for Senate Republicans and shared with The Washington Post.

Mangi did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Biden has made diversifying the country’s federal judiciary a key priority and nominated Zahid N. Quraishi as the first muslim federal district court judge at the beginning of his term.

Of Biden’s 187 judicial nominees confirmed so far by the Senate, nearly two-thirds have been women. according to the American Constitutional Society, whose count includes Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Biden’s elections too have been more racially diverse than those of their predecessors. About 35 percent of those confirmed The judges are white, 28 percent are black, 15 percent are Latino and 13 percent are Asian American, according to society data. Under President Donald Trump, less than 4 percent of the judges confirmed to the court were black.

On Tuesday, a division Senate confirmed Nicole Berner will be the first openly gay judge and first labor lawyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

“EM. Berner will bring much-needed professional diversity and personal diversity to the courts to ensure that all “Americans have representation in our judiciary,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). saying before the vote. “These are judges outside the status quo — people of color, women, judges with diverse professional backgrounds — who are making the courts more reflective of the people they serve.”

“Senate Democrats will continue to work with President Biden to confirm more judges and achieve more balance on the courts in the coming months,” Schumer said.

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