New Jersey welcomes hijab-wearing Muslim woman judge


Date published: Wed, 22 March 23

Nadia Kahf, a family law attorney from Wayne, New Jersey, has been voted by the New Jersey Senate to serve as a state Superior Court judge. Kahf will be the first judge to wear hijab on the bench of the New Jersey Superior Court. 

Kahf background is in family law and immigration, and she has sat on the board of the New Jersey chapter for the Council of American-Islamic relations (CAIR). Although nominated in 2022, Kahf’s confirmation was stalled by Senator Kristen Corrado (R).

 “Nadia has long served the Muslim community in New Jersey, and I am honored to have worked under her leadership and guidance here at CAIR-NJ. 

She brings a wealth of experiences that span across the legal field and meet at the intersections of Muslim and other marginalized communities, and we can’t think of anyone more fit for this position than her.   

Benches and juries must reflect the communities they serve. Nadia’s appointment is a step in the right direction and brings us closer to an inclusive legal system.”

CAIR-NJ Executive Director Salaedin Maksut

Although representation is an important factor in diversifying American democracy and institutions, it is necessary that representation isn’t simply tied to a person’s religious af

filiation or ethnic background, but rather how a person is able to use their background to enact change and equality. 

This appointment comes at a time where the White House and state courts are seeking to somewhat diversify the appointed and nominated judges. The White House particularly during the Biden administration has encouraged diverse nominees for judgeships. The White House states that Biden’s emphasis on diversifying historically white and male-dominated positions is an attempt to create a more fair and equitable outcome in the court system.

Back in the 2020 election, the decision to include Kamala Harris on the ticket was met by great applause by some, and criticism by others. Although the appointment of Harris as Vice President shows a landmark of having the first Black woman to serve as Vice President, Harris’ record on crime shows that she fought to keep people in prison after they were proven innocent, defended California’s death penalty system, resisted calls to investigate certain police shootings, and has a general establishment law and order stance – something progressives have criticized heavily. 

As a result, it is necessary to hold elected officials, leaders, and judges accountable for upholding American democracy in an equitable and just manner.

We congratulate Nadia Kahf wholeheartedly! 

Image from CAIR-NJ