Biden nominee would be first Muslim on federal appellate court in U.S. history

Adeel A. Mangi. PHOTO:

President Biden announced Wednesday, November 15, 2023, that he will nominate Adeel A. Mangi, a Harvard- and Oxford-trained lawyer, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, based in Philadelphia. If confirmed by the Senate, Mangi, who is of Pakistani descent, would become the first Muslim American to serve on a federal appellate court in U.S. history.

The move comes more than two years after Biden nominated the first Muslim to a federal district court, Zahid N. Quraishi, who was confirmed by the Senate for a judgeship in New Jersey.

Mangi was among eight judicial nominees announced by the White House on Wednesday. In a statement, the White House referred to them as “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.”

The White House said the nominations help fulfill Biden’s pledge to “ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country – both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.”

Also nominated to the appellate court was Nicole G. Berner, a lawyer for the Service Employees International Union. The other nominees announced Wednesday include Judge Amy M. Baggio of Oregon and Indiana judges Cristal C. Brisco and Gretchen S. Lund for district court judgeships; and Judge Sherri Beatty-Arthur, Erin C. Johnston and Ray D. McKenzie for the District of Columbia Superior Court.

Biden has sought to diversify the pool of people serving on the federal bench around the country. According to a Washington Post analysis in June 2021, Biden nominated as many minority women to be judges in his first four months as President Donald Trump was able to get confirmed in four years.

The nomination of Mangi coincides with a backlash against Biden among Arab Americans following his declaration of unwavering support for Israel following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants. In recent weeks, Biden has faced growing calls to pressure Israel to curtail its bombardment and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Mangi graduated from the University of Oxford with a bachelor’s degree in law in 1998, and from Harvard Law School in 2000, according to his biography at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, the law firm he joined in 2000 and where he is now a partner.

Mangi has written a number of amicus briefs in recent years that sought to block key initiatives of the previous administration, including a travel ban aimed at Muslim-majority countries, diverting federal funds to a build a wall on the southern border and an attempt to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Biden nominated Quraishi, a federal magistrate judge and the son of Pakistani immigrants, in June 2021. He was confirmed by the Senate, 83 to 16, for the federal judgeship in New Jersey.

Addon from News India Times

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy’s statement on nomination of Adeel Mangi to federal court. PHOTO Twitter @GovMurphy

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy put out a statement praising Mangi as a choice for federal court, calling him an experienced litigator who has tried high-profil civil rights cases defending marginalized communities. Several other leaders echoed the praise.

His firm’s website notes numerous accomplishments of Mangi. Benchmark Litigation named him on its 2024 and 2023 lists of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” in the U.S., which consists of “partners who have been venerated by peers and clients as being the best in breed at the nuanced practice of trial law . . . based on an intensive peer-and-client review.”  

Mangi recently won the largest jury verdict in the history of the Virginia court system with a $2 billion verdict after a seven-week jury trial in a case involving theft of trade secrets in the software industry. 

He also secured the largest settlement with New York state in history, in cases involving the death of a state prison inmate on the morning of closing arguments after a two-and-a-half week jury trial in the Southern District of New York.

Benchmark Litigation described him as “meticulous and relentless,” and “an unflappable whiz at everything he does.” 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here