Another US senator announces to vote against Muslim judicial nominee Adeel Mangi

Adeel Mangi would make history as first Pakistani American to serve as judge on an appeals court, if confirmed

Adeel Mangi, a nominee to the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals, appears before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC, on Dec 13, 2023. — Reuters
Adeel Mangi, a nominee to the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals, appears before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC, on Dec 13, 2023. — Reuters

  • Mangi's chances of winning confirmation in US Senate diminishing.
  • Senator Jacky Rosen cites opposition from law enforcement groups.
  • Senators Catherine Cortez Masto, Joe Manchin also plan to vote no.

WASHINGTON: The chances of Adeel Mangi, a respected Pakistani-American judge nominated by President Biden for the federal appeals court, have been diminished after Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada became the latest Democrat to publicly announce she would vote against him.

Rosen announced her opposition to Biden's newest nominee to the Philadelphia-based 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals late Wednesday, after two other Democrats said they would join with Senate Republicans to vote against confirming him.

Her announcement could be enough to sink Mangi's nomination in the closely-divided Senate. Democrats have a 51-49 majority in the chamber, and without a Republican defection or absence, Mangi appears to lack the votes to be confirmed.

"Given the concerns I’ve heard from law enforcement in Nevada, I am not planning to vote to confirm this nominee," Rosen said in a statement.

Her announcement followed that of a fellow Nevada Democrat, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who last week cited Mangi's affiliation with a criminal justice reform group that advocates on behalf of families affected by mass incarceration.

Several law enforcement groups, including the National Sheriffs' Association and the National Association of Police Organizations, have announced they oppose Mangi and have criticised his involvement with the Alliance of Families for Justice.

Republicans and the law enforcement groups opposed to Mangi have portrayed it as an association that advocates for "cop-killers to be freed from prison," as the head of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association said in a Feb 14 letter.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who sometimes votes with Republicans on judicial nominees, has said he would also vote no, citing a policy he has adopted aimed at fostering bipartisanship by requiring judicial nominees to win at least one Republican over to secure his vote.

The White House contends Mangi, a New Jersey resident and partner at the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, has been subjected to Islamophobic smears by Republican opponents and has pointed to several other law enforcement endorsements of Mangi.

Those included several new endorsements made public on Wednesday from groups including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Law Enforcement Officers Association.

White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients in a statement issued on Wednesday before Rosen's announcement urged the Senate to confirm Mangi without further delay, saying the accusations that he is anti-police "could not be further from the truth."

During a December hearing on his nomination, Republican Judiciary Committee members prodded, Mangi about his views on the Israel-Hamas war and the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

The conservative advocacy group the Judicial Crisis Network later began running ads calling him "antisemitic" that were aimed at convincing certain Democratic senators to vote no.

If confirmed, Mangi would restore a 7-7 split on the 3rd Circuit among active judges appointed by Democratic or Republican presidents.