Joe Biden faces new Democratic uproar over Muslim judicial nominee
Joe Biden faces new Democratic uproar over Muslim judicial nominee

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, voiced her opposition to President Joe Biden’s new judicial nominee, Adil A. Mangy, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, who said he would not vote to confirm Mangy without two parties support, the election of the president may have problems.

Mangi would be the first Muslim American to serve as a federal appeals judge if the Senate votes to confirm Biden’s pick for the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

Mangi, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities, is currently a partner at the New York-based law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP. However, Mangi has been targeted for alleged links to controversial rhetoric about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been accused of being anti-police.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates defended the Biden nominee in a statement Wednesday.

“President Biden is proud to nominate Adeel Mangy, whose outstanding credentials and integrity earn him new support every day,” Bates said. “Mr. Mangi, who has lived the American dream and proven his integrity, is being targeted for a malicious and debunked smear campaign just because he will make history as the first Muslim to serve as a federal appellate judge.”

The spokesman added: “Senate Democrats must stand with the qualities that make America great — which Mr. Mangy embodies — not the hateful forces that are trying to take America back to the past.”

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden on March 20, 2024 in Chandler, Arizona. A Democratic senator has voiced his opposition to Biden’s new judicial nominee.

Rebecca Noble/Getty Images

Cortes Masto announced his opposition to Mangi’s nomination on Tuesday.

“Mangi’s relationship with the Alliance for Families for Justice is deeply troubling,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “This organization sponsors a scholarship in the name of Cathy Budden, a member of the domestic terrorist organization Weather Underground, and has advocated for the release of individuals convicted of murdering police officers. I cannot support this candidate.”

The judge nominee serves on the advisory board of the Alliance for Families for Justice, a New York-based group that advocates for incarcerated people and their families.

Asked by CNN about Mangy, Manchin said Wednesday that from now on he will only vote to confirm judicial nominees who garner bipartisan support.

“I’ll be very honest with everybody, if my Democratic colleagues and friends can’t get a single Republican vote, don’t count on me. You can’t make it bipartisan, don’t count on me,” he said.

Manchin added, “I’m not going to leave this seat unless I can practice what I preach, and I preach, basically, bipartisanship.” The senator announced in November 2023 that he would retire from the upper chamber when his term expires .

Newsweek has reached out to Masto and Manchin’s offices, as well as the White House and Mangi’s law firm, by email for comment.

Democrats hold a slim majority of 51 seats in the Senate with the three independents they elect with them. If every Republican votes, and even just a few Democrats vote against Mangy’s confirmation, it could put him in a tough spot.

In addition to his role in the Families for Justice Alliance, Mangy has also faced criticism for his former role as an advisory board member of the Center on Security, Race and Rights at Rutgers University.

The center lectured on life under “forcible occupation and settler colonial violence in Palestine” just days after Hamas launched the deadliest Palestinian militant attack on Israel on October 7, 2023.

Mangi was asked about the surprise attack during his December 2023 nomination hearing.

“The events of October 7 were horrific. Horror,” Mangi said. “The attacks on civilians were abhorrent and against everything I stand for. I have no patience for any attempt to justify or defend these attacks on civilians.”

Update 3/21/24, 5:35 PM ET: This article has been updated with additional information.