Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez (both D-NJ) today applauded President Biden’s nomination of Julien Xavier Neals and Judge Zahid Quraishi to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Their nominations were announced by the White House this morning as part of a group of 11 judicial nominees. Booker is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


“Julien Neals and Zahid Quraishi are smart, experienced, and thoughtful attorneys who will both bring an exceptional commitment to fairness and impartiality to the federal bench,” said Senator Booker. “Mr. Neals has had a long and distinguished legal career and possesses an unwavering commitment to justice. Judge Quraishi, who would make history if confirmed as the first Muslim American federal judge, has defended and served  our country with distinction in numerous roles. Their skills, experience, and unique perspectives are needed on the federal bench now more than ever. I look forward to their hearing before the Judiciary Committee and their confirmations by the full Senate.”


“President Biden has nominated two outstanding and highly qualified individuals to serve on the U.S. District Court of New Jersey in Julien Neals and Magistrate Judge Zahid Quraishi.  They not only represent the best of New Jersey and our state’s values, but they reflect the state’s proud and rich diversity—critical elements for any effective judiciary sworn to uphold equal justice under the law,” said Senator Menendez.  “If confirmed, both nominees will uphold the highest ideals of our justice system.  I applaud President Biden for making a bold statement with these nominations and I would encourage their swift confirmation.”


 Julien Xavier Neals currently serves as County Counsel for Bergen County, New Jersey, a position he has held since January 2015. Previously, in 2014 and from 1992 to 2006, he worked as an attorney practicing general litigation in state and federal courts at Chansan, Leyner & Lamparello, P.C. From 2006 until 2014, Neals worked for the City of Newark, serving as Business Administrator from 2010 to 2014, Corporation Counsel from 2008 until 2010, and Chief Judge of the Newark Municipal Court from 2006 to 2008. Neals began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Seymour Marguilies on the New Jersey Superior Court in Hudson County, from 1991 to 1992. He received his J.D. from Emory University School of Law in 1991 and his B.A. from Morehouse College in 1982.


Zahid N. Quraishi was appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey in the Trenton Vicinage on June 3, 2019.  Quraishi, who is of Pakistani ancestry, is the first Asian-American to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey. Prior to his appointment, he was Chair of Riker Danzig’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and his firm's first Chief Diversity Officer. Before joining Riker, Quraishi served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for over five years. He previously represented the United States as an Assistant Chief Counsel and trial attorney with the Department of Homeland Security.  He also served as a military prosecutor and achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. In the Army, Quraishi was assigned to the First Infantry Division stationed in Germany and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006 before he was honorably discharged. Earlier in his career, Quraishi worked as a litigation associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP and clerked for the Honorable Edwin H. Stern, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey - Appellate Division (retired). Quraishi received his law degree from Rutgers Law School - Newark, where he was the Managing Business Editor of the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal and a member of the Rutgers Moot Court Board.


New Jersey’s six district court vacancies are second only to California’s and have been declared a “judicial emergency.”  Six years of Republican obstructionism both in the Senate and White House have allowed those vacancies to go unfilled and the judicial emergency to fester.  


Senator Booker has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee since 2018. He has been a leader in the Senate on criminal justice and policing reform since he was first elected in 2013. Booker has introduced numerous criminal justice reform proposals, including: theMarijuana Justice Actthe Fair Chance Act, the CARERS Act, the MERCY Actthe Dignity for Incarcerated Women Actthe Second Look Act, and the Justice in Policing Act. He was also a key architect of the most sweeping overhaul of the criminal justice system in decades, the First Step Act, which was signed into law in 2018.



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