In Short

Biden names Oregon magistrate to federal judge vacancy

By: - September 7, 2023 2:45 pm

President Joe Biden has named U.S. Magistrate Judge Mustafa Kasubhai to a vacant district court judge position. (Getty Images)

A U.S. magistrate judge from Eugene is President Joe Biden’s pick for the state’s next district court judge.

Biden included Mustafa Kasubhai, who in 2018 became the first Muslim American judge to serve on the federal bench, in his latest round of four nominees to district courts throughout the nation. Kasubhai, 53, still must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. 

Mustafa Kasubhai (U.S. District Court Historical Society)

Magistrate judges can issue warrants and typically handle preliminary proceedings, while district court judges preside over trials. 

Kasubhai is the son of Indian immigrants and grew up in California. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California-Berkeley in 1992 and then moved to Eugene, where he graduated from the University of Oregon’s law school in 1996.

He practiced civil law until 2003, primarily representing injured workers and union members in employment cases. Former Gov. Ted Kulongoski appointed Kasubhai to a full-time position on the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board in 2003. 

In 2007, Kulongoski named Kasubhai to a circuit court judgeship in Lane County in 2007, and he continued serving until his appointment as a federal magistrate judge in 2018. Kasubhai was recognized that year with trailblazer awards from both the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Oregon’s two U.S. senators, Democrats Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, applauded Kasubhai’s nomination in a joint statement. Kasubhai was one of six nominees the senators sent Biden earlier this year. 

“The nominee brings an outstanding mix of experience as a federal magistrate, a trial judge in Lane County and (an) attorney in private practice representing workers seeking justice,” they said. “Magistrate Kasubhai is a standout nominee, and we very much look forward to helping him advance quickly through the Senate confirmation process.”


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Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.