Adeel Mangi Belongs on the Third Circuit

Courts Resources 04.10,24

By Nahid Paiman

President Biden’s historic nomination of Adeel Mangi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is a significant step toward a more representative federal judiciary. Unfortunately, despite his impeccable qualifications, Mr. Mangi has faced manufactured and baseless attacks that should never be endured by any nominee. Last week, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with 125 national, state, and local organizations, urged the Senate to swiftly confirm Mr. Mangi and condemned the baseless and bigoted attacks targeting this exceptional nominee.

The federal courts will only work for all people in America when our federal judges truly reflect and represent the people of the United States. Mr. Mangi’s impressive legal career, dedication to equal justice for all, and the positive impact he has had on people’s lives make him incredibly qualified to serve, and he will be a tremendous judge on the Third Circuit. If confirmed, Mr. Mangi will be the first Muslim judge to serve on any of our federal appellate courts. However, Mr. Mangi has faced hateful, baseless, and offensive attacks in the Senate and in the media, and it is happening at a time when Muslim communities around the country are experiencing a rise in anti-Muslim hate and bias. While Mr. Mangi is Pakistani American, the stereotypes used against him are rooted in anti-Muslim bias and anti-Arab racism.

The bigoted attacks on Mr. Mangi are attacks on democracy and on all Americans. It is our duty to support Mr. Mangi as it is the way to protect our democracy and support the 3.45 million Muslims in the United States who are bearing witness to the cruelty of some senators and those seeking to defeat this qualified and historic nominee.

As an Afghan American who once was a refugee in Pakistan, it has been painful for me to watch a talented lawyer with an impressive commitment to justice become the target of a political smear campaign. I know the people of Pakistan as kind, educated, and peace-loving and as allies of democracy. Mr. Mangi, as demonstrated throughout his confirmation hearing and impressive professional career, has dedicated himself to protecting and defending the rights of others. When asked about this work, Mr. Mangi once said: “I viewed it as critically important, as a Muslim, to be standing up for every community that is under attack and whose rights are being taken away from them.”

Besides Mr. Mangi and his family, there are people in all parts of our nation who are enduring the emotional impact of these bigoted attacks, and they have been for a long time. Senators who oppose Mr. Mangi’s confirmation because of attacks based on his identity are sending a dangerous message to all people in America that the courts belong to only a select few. The courts belong to all of us, and Mr. Mangi belongs on the Third Circuit.

Mr. Mangi’s legal background, tremendous professional accomplishments, and dedication to civil and human rights will strengthen our courts and our country. The emotional impact of the hatred towards Mr. Mangi has been weighing on me and makes me question my future in the United States. However, the outpouring of love, unity, and support towards Mr. Mangi from across the country is more powerful than hate. History will remember this moment — and we will vigorously continue to uphold and embrace Mr. Mangi and all people dedicated to equal justice.

To urge your senators to support Mr. Mangi’s confirmation, please visit

Nahid Paiman is the senior government affairs associate at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.