Durbin to Senate Colleagues: Dismiss the Smear Campaign Against Adeel Mangi & Support His Federal Circuit Court Nomination

Once confirmed, Mr. Mangi would be the first Muslim American to serve as a federal appellate court judge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today called on his colleagues to dismiss the smear campaign against Mr. Adeel Mangi and to support his nomination to serve as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in New Jersey. 

During his speech, Durbin highlighted how Mr. Mangi is eminently qualified to be a federal appellate court judge.  He graduated from Oxford and Harvard Law School and has spent more than 20 years in private practice at a top law firm, focusing on commercial litigation.  Mr. Mangi has served as counsel of record in more than 30 matters before federal appellate courts, as well as for eight amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has gone above and beyond in his pro bono practice, devoting more than 4,000 hours to representing clients in religious discrimination, asylum, and employment discrimination cases.

“As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of my highest priorities has been the confirmation of judges to fill vacancies on the federal bench.  Since the beginning of the Biden Administration, the Senate has confirmed 191 highly qualified independent and even-handed jurists to the federal bench,” Durbin said.  “They represent the best of our legal system—demographically and professionally diverse judges who respect the rule of law, adhere to precedent, and above all, answer only to the Constitution.  We should add another nominee to that list—Adeel Mangi, who has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.”

Durbin continued, “Based on his record, you would think Mr. Mangi would be quickly confirmed, but I left off one fact on his resume.  He is a Muslim American.  The treatment of this nominee before the Senate Judiciary Committee has reached a new low in many ways.”

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 during his nomination hearing.  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.

“Any insinuation that Mr. Mangi is antisemitic, or a terrorist sympathizer, is rooted in anti-Muslim bigotry and has no place in our country or in Congress.  And the claims are simply false,” Durbin said.  “What has been un-American is the treatment Mr. Mangi [has] faced since his hearing.  Republicans are trying to blame Mr. Mangi for statements by other people and events he didn’t even attend and wasn’t even aware of.  That is guilt by association.  It is wrong.  It is unfair.”

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 defended “cop killers,” when he has never said or written anything to suggest that he supports such individuals nor 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.”  Law enforcement groups, labor advocates, and local and state leaders have all endorsed the confirmation of Mr. Mangi.

“Republicans have unfairly attacked Mr. Mangi for his nominal affiliation with the Alliance of Families for Justice.  They falsely—falsely—claim that he supports ‘cop killers.’  That outrageous allegation could not be further from the truth,” said Durbin.  “On the other hand, during the Trump Administration, Republicans voted unanimously to confirm two judges who had personally represented individuals who had killed police officers.  Those individuals were entitled to the right to counsel.  I’m not arguing that point.  But it just shows you how far they’ve gone in establishing a new standard—a totally unfair standard.  The treatment of Mr. Mangi by Republicans puts their hypocrisy on full display.  There cannot be one standard forRepublican appointees and another for Democrats.”

Durbin continued, “Based on Mr. Mangi’s actual record, more than 125 civil rights and human rights organizations support him.  Organizations representing more than one million Jewish Americans, including the National Council of Jewish Women and the Anti-Defamation League [support Mr. Mangi]… In addition, Mr. Mangi has received the support of a number of law enforcement organizations, including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and a bipartisan group of former New Jersey state attorneys general and U.S. Attorneys.”

Durbin concluded, “Any judicial nominee should expect a close examination of his legal career before the Committee.  Since first being nominated, Mr. Mangi has been prepared for just that.  However, he should not have to answer for baseless and bigoted attacks that do not accurately reflect him or his record in many different ways… I urge my colleagues to dismiss the smear campaign against Mr. Mangi and to support his nomination.”

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

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

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

Mr. Mangi was nominated by President Biden on November 15, 2023; had his nomination hearing in Committee on December 13, 2023; and was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 18, 2024.