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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Biden’s nominee subjected to controversial questions in his confirmation hearing

The senators delved into Mangi's opinions on the October 7 attack in Israel, the September 11 attacks, and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

President Joe Biden’s nominee, Adeel Mangi, stands on the verge of becoming the first Muslim-American judge on a federal appellate court. However, his confirmation hearing before the Senate judiciary body took an unexpected turn as Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Tom Cotton subjected him to a barrage of controversial questions. The incident has ignited a debate over religious bias and the significance of diversity in the judicial system.

Unprecedented Nomination

Adeel Mangi, nominated for the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, represents a groundbreaking moment in the quest for diversity within the judiciary. If confirmed, he will be the third Muslim-American federal judge and the first to serve on an appeals court, situated in Philadelphia. Mangi’s nomination reflects a commitment to inclusivity and a departure from the traditional demographics of the federal judiciary.

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Islamophobia Unveiled

The line of questioning posed by Senators Cruz, Hawley, and Cotton has drawn severe criticism from various quarters, including advocacy groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The senators delved into Mangi’s opinions on the October 7 attack in Israel, the September 11 attacks, and the Israel-Palestine conflict, raising concerns about the relevance and intention behind such inquiries.

CAIR’s Condemnation

Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell of CAIR condemned the senators for subjecting Mangi to what he termed “irrelevant, hostile questions about Israel and Palestine.” He asserted that singling out a Muslim nominee based on his faith and quizzing him about geopolitics was not only Islamophobic but also un-American. Mitchell urged senators to evaluate nominees based on their qualifications rather than their religious affiliations.

Mangi’s Response

Adeel Mangi, maintaining composure throughout the hearing, reiterated his commitment to condemning all forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim sentiments. When pressed about the October 7 attack on Israel and the broader Middle East issues, Mangi emphasized his role as a judicial nominee, stating that he lacked the expertise to provide insights on such matters.

Hostility Elicits Intervention

The intensity of the senators’ questioning reached a point where Senator Dick Durbin, the committee chair, had to intervene. Expressing dissatisfaction with the hostile line of questioning, Durbin apologized to Mangi for the ill-treatment. Durbin highlighted the support for Mangi’s nomination from the National Council of Jewish Women, emphasizing that the nominee’s credentials were recognized across diverse groups.

Cory Booker’s Condemnation

Senator Cory Booker, a member of the committee, expressed his dismay at the behavior of his colleagues. He deemed the line of questioning insulting to Muslim Americans who often find themselves repeatedly answering questions about condemning antisemitism and terrorism. Booker recommended Mangi’s nomination to the White House, underscoring the nominee’s commitment to condemning bigotry.

Maya Wiley’s Endorsement

President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Maya Wiley, highlighted the importance of diversity in the judiciary. Wiley applauded Mangi’s potential confirmation as a landmark achievement, stressing that a diverse judiciary strengthens public trust and improves decision-making.

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Adeel Mangi’s confirmation hearing has brought to light the challenges faced by Muslim-American nominees and the broader issue of diversity in the judiciary. While facing unwarranted and, at times, hostile questioning, Mangi has emerged as a symbol of resilience and a testament to the ongoing struggle for a more inclusive legal system. As the Senate weighs Mangi’s nomination, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of fair and unbiased scrutiny in the pursuit of a diverse and representative judiciary.