Durbin: “To have a man characterized as antisemitic on the floor of the United States Senate is a gross miscarriage of justice."

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans’ latest attacks against Mr. Adeel Mangi, nominated to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit. The remarks by Leader McConnell on the Senate floor this morning are part of a series of baseless, Islamophobic attacks hurled against Mr. Mangi.

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“In recent weeks, we've heard an amazing number of attacks against this individual. It is hard to imagine some of the things that are being said about him. They bear no resemblance to the truth. What was said this morning on the floor of the United States Senate was painful. To accuse a nominee of being antisemitic is heartbreaking when it's not true, and in this case, it clearly is not true,” said Durbin.

Despite unequivocally denouncing any acts of antisemitism or bigotry, Mr. Mangi was subjected to irrelevant, combative lines of questioning by multiple Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans about the Israel-Hamas war and was even asked how he celebrated the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 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.

“The ADL issued a statement in response to what they call the ‘inappropriate and prejudicial treatment of Adeel Abdullah Mangi, a nominee for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.’ I'm going to read this in its entirety, because it clearly rebuts the charge that was made on the Senate floor today that this nominee is antisemitic,” said Durbin, invoking a statement by the Anti-Defamation League, a leading Jewish anti-hate organization, on the mistreatment of Mr. Mangi.

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“To have a man characterized as antisemitic on the floor of the United States Senate is a gross miscarriage of justice in this case. This gentleman could not have been more explicit in his statements against terrorism, against what happened in Israel on October 7, and the fact that he is coming before this body with no prejudice whatsoever toward the Jewish people … I'm sorry that this was said on the floor of the Senate this morning. I hope that the person who did it will have second thoughts about whether or not that was appropriate,” concluded Durbin.

Additionally, Mr. Mangi has been subjected to false claims about his association with the Alliance of Families for Justice. Senate Republicans have peddled false assertions that Mr. Mangi supports “cop-killers,” when he has never said or written anything that suggests he supports such individuals, nor has he represented or provided legal counsel to anyone accused of killing a police officer. To the contrary, Senate Republicans are creating a double standard on this issue after voting unanimously to confirm multiple judges during the Trump Administration who had personally represented “cop-killers.” Mr. Mangi’s nomination is endorsed by multiple law enforcement groups.

If confirmed, Mr. Mangi would be the first Muslim American to serve as a federal appellate court judge. He was nominated by President Biden on November 15, had his nomination hearing on December 13, and was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 18. Prior to that committee vote, Durbin again pushed back on baseless attacks from the committee’s Republicans, as did Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

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

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

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