U.S. Senate Appoints Nusrat Choudhury, Civil Rights Lawyer, as Historic Federal Judge
Civil rights lawyer Nusrat Choudhury made history on Thursday as the U.S. Senate appointed her as a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Choudhury, currently serving as the legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois, became the first Bangladeshi American and the first female Muslim federal judge in the United States, winning the seat by a narrow margin of 50-49 votes.
This significant achievement makes Choudhury the second Muslim American in U.S. history to serve as a federal judge, following Zahid Quraishi, a U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey.
President Joe Biden nominated Choudhury in January 2022, recognizing her as an “extraordinarily qualified and experienced” individual among eight judicial nominees.
Choudhury is assuming the position previously held by Judge Joseph Bianco, who was appointed by George W. Bush in 2006 and later moved to the Second Circuit by the Trump administration in 2019.
With an impressive educational background, Choudhury graduated from Columbia University in 1998 and earned her Master of Public Administration from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs in 2006. She obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Yale Law School in the same year.
Prior to her nomination, Choudhury served as the deputy director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program in New York from 2018 to 2020. She also held the position of legal director at the ACLU in Illinois.
Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, congratulated Choudhury, recognizing her long-standing commitment to protecting civil liberties and civil rights. He described her as a trailblazing civil rights lawyer with a remarkable record in advancing equal justice for all in the nation.
Choudhury’s father won a Fulbright grant to come to the United States and worked in the Chicago area for 40 years as a physician. Choudhury married Michael Early, a visual effects producer, in 2016.