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Durbin Defends Adeel Mangi Amid Baseless, Islamophobic Attacks by Senate Republicans

Mr. Mangi would be the first Muslim-American to serve on a federal appellate court upon confirmation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took to the Senate floor to defend Adeel Mangi, nominee to be a U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, amid baseless, Islamophobic attacks by Senate Republicans throughout his nomination process.

Durbin began by highlighting the unprecedented nature of the attacks on Mr. Mangi, which are inconsistent with his record and reality.

“Mr. Mangi is a highly qualified nominee with incredible credentials and more than two decades of litigation experience. He would be the first Muslim-American to ever serve on a federal appellate court. Nevertheless, he has gone through scrutiny unlike anything I have ever seen … Unfortunately, many of the questions that have been raised about Mr. Mangi and his background have created suspicions in people’s minds that his religion is the reason for the questioning. Treatment of this highly qualified nominee has sometimes reached an all-time low,” said Durbin.

Durbin then went into further detail on the blatantly Islamophobic lines of questioning and insinuations that Mr. Mangi was subjected to, despite Mr. Mangi’s continued condemnation of any acts of terrorism no fewer than ten times.

“At his hearing in committee, many Republicans subjected Mr. Mangi to combative lines of questioning about the Israel-Hamas war. This is a man who is seeking to serve on the federal bench on an appellate court. The questions that were asked of him were more appropriately asked of the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense,” said Durbin.

“At one point, a Republican Senator asked this Muslim-American [if he celebrates 9/11]. Think about that for a second. Because he is Muslim, the Senator thought it was appropriate to ask him if it was appropriate to celebrate 9/11 in his home. He of course said ‘no.’ He was a resident of New York and thought it was a tragedy that occurred to our nation, and he had friends and family who were affected by that tragedy,” continued Durbin.

In addition to these prejudicial lines of questioning, Senate Republicans are peddling false claims about his association with the Alliance of Families for Justice.

“Critics have falsely claimed that because of his minimal involvement with this organization, he has somehow associated himself with violent criminals and supports ‘cop-killers.’ … Nothing could be further from the truth. As a longtime corporate lawyer, Mr. Mangi has never said or written anything – anything – that suggests he supports individuals who have murdered members of law enforcement. He has never – never – represented or otherwise provided legal counsel to anyone accused of killing a police officer,” said Durbin.

These assertions are not only false, but it also creates a double standard after Republicans voted to confirm multiple judges who had directly represented “cop killers.”

“But during the Trump Administration, Republicans voted unanimously to confirm two judges who had personally represented individuals who had killed police officers,” said Durbin. “The treatment of Mr. Mangi by Republicans puts their hypocrisy on full display. There cannot be one standard for Republican appointees and another for Democratic appointees.”

Durbin concluded his speech by encouraging his colleagues to reject these insinuations and consider Mr. Mangi for his record.

“Mr. Mangi is right. He should be evaluated based on his record—not on dishonest, bad-faith insinuations. I urge my colleagues to dismiss the smear campaign against Mr. Mangi and support his nomination,” concluded Durbin.

Mr. Mangi advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 18, 2024. Numerous Jewish organizations representing more than one million Jewish Americans have voiced support for his historic nomination – including the American Jewish Committee, the National Council for Jewish Women, and a coalition of 15 Jewish organizations.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the floor is available here for TV Stations.