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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Kennedy urges Senate to oppose Biden’s radical judicial nominee: “His pick of Adeel Mangi is one of his worst”

by United States Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana

WASHINGTON (Mar. 22, 2024) – Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to the confirmation of Adeel Mangi to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Kennedy warned that Mangi’s ties to extremist groups make him unfit for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

Key excerpts from Kennedy’s speech include:

I [think] any fair-minded person would have to conclude that, over the past several years, President Biden has nominated some people to the federal bench who, quite frankly, are not qualified to judge a pie contest.”

. . .

“With respect, the president’s pick of Mr. Adeel Mangi is frankly one of his worst. Mr. Mangi is affiliated with an organization that calls itself the, quote, ‘Alliance of Families for Justice.’ . . . In fact, Mr. Mangi is not just affiliated with this group: He’s on their advisory board.

“One of the Alliance’s founders was a member of a domestic terrorist organization. What does that mean? One of the Alliance’s founders was convicted of murdering police officers in cold blood. . . . Now the Alliance [of] Families for Justice—on whose board Mr. Mangi [sat]—advocates for the release of people who kill cops.”

. . .

Now, by itself, Mr. Mangi’s work for and with this organization that I refer to as the ‘Alliance’ should be disqualifying, but there is more. . . . Mr. Mangi also served on the advisory board of another group, and this group calls itself, quote, the ‘Center for Security, Race and Rights.’ . . . This organization is steeped in hatred and antisemitism.”

. . .

“On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Mr. President, Mr. Mangi’s Center for Security, Race and Rights . . . sponsored an event entitled, [quote], ‘Whose narrative? 20 years since 9/11, 2001.’ This event, the purpose of this event, was to blame America and blame Americans for 9/11. That’s why they held the event.

“This event and the speakers there blamed, quote, ‘U.S. imperialism’—not the terrorists—‘U.S. imperialism’ for the 9/11 attacks that killed thousands of innocent American citizens.

“And the event featured some of the most despicable speakers that even the most fertile imagination would be challenged to come up with. One of those speakers [was] Mr. Sami Al Arian. Mr. Al Arian was convicted of providing support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“Another speaker, [Dr.] Rabab Abdulhadi has ties to terrorist hijackers.

“A third speaker, Mr. Hatem Bazian, publicly called for an intifada in the United States.”

. . .

“Now, Mr. Mangi claims that he didn’t know about this event—that’s what he told us in committee, but his Center has a long, long history of sponsoring vile, hate-filled events, and that’s just a fact. That’s not rhetoric. That’s just a fact.

“Are we really expected to believe that Mr. Mangi had no idea what the Center was up to? He sat on its advisory board.”

. . .

“Now, let’s talk about the director of the Center on whose advisory board Mr. Mangi sat. The director also has a vile history of bad behavior. . . . The director says that she is, quote, ‘in awe’—in awe—‘in awe of the Palestinian struggle to resist violent occupation, removal, erasure and the expansion of Israeli settler colonialism.’

“‘Israeli settler colonialism.’ Hamas murdered, raped, maimed Jewish men, Jewish women, little Jewish children, and, according to Mr. Mangi’s organization’s director, it’s Israel’s fault.

“The Center’s director describes [her]self as being in respectful ‘awe.’ I think the vast majority of Americans would describe themselves as being nauseated.

“The Center’s director, of whom I speak, also personally recruited Mr. Mangi to serve on the Center’s advisory board. Again, are we really expected to believe that Mr. Mangi didn’t know about the director’s vile behavior? Did Mr. Mangi not even run a single Google search on this person?

“Now, on top of all that . . . I do not believe that Mr. Mangi told me the truth in our Judiciary hearing, Mr. President. When I asked him about his involvement with this radical organization, Mr. Mangi told me he only provided, quote, ‘advice on academic areas of research’ . . . but it turns out he was also funneling money to the organization—tens of thousands of dollars from himself and from his law firm.”

. . .

“Some senators have suggested that asking Mr. Mangi questions about his involvement with these organizations [is] ‘Islamophobic.’ One of my colleagues . . . said that certain Republican members of the committee, quote, believed that he, referring to Mr. Mangi, must be a terrorist because he’s a Muslim.

“Wow. That got my attention. That’s not true. I believe that Mr. Mangi is not qualified to be a federal judge because he supports organizations that celebrate people who kill law enforcement officers. He supports organizations that hate Americans, and he supports organizations that hate Jews.”

. . .

“When President Biden has nominated quality people—qualified people—to serve on the federal bench, I’ve supported them regardless of their race, regardless of their gender, regardless of their religion.”

. . .

“Just a few years ago, for example, I voted to confirm one of President Biden’s nominees: Mr.—now judge—Mr. Zahid Quraishi. Mr. Quraishi happened to be, at the time, the first Muslim-American federal judge. I voted for him, [and he is] doing a great job.

“Unlike Mr. Mangi, Judge Quraishi [was] not on the board of an organization that celebrates and advocates for the release of cop killers. He was not on the board of an organization that sponsors anti-American events and blames 9/11 on American imperialism.

“Judge Quraishi was qualified and is qualified to serve on the federal bench. Mr. Mangi is not. He’s just not. That’s not Islamophobia, Mr. President. That’s just a fact, and I think anyone who’s being honest with themselves—particularly if you go look at the confirmation hearings and read the evidence—I think any person who’s being honest with themselves will agree.”

Background

  • Mangi served on the advisory board of the Center for Security, Race and Rights at Rutgers Law School from 2019 to 2023. During his time on the advisory board, the Center sponsored several radical events, including an event titled “Whose Narrative? 20 years since September 11,” which analyzed the “exceptionalization of 9/11/2021.” The event featured commentary from several radical speakers, including:
  • Sami Al-Arian, a man who pled guilty to conspiring to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group.
  • Hatem Bazian, a co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, who previously called for intifada in the United States.
  • The Center’s staff has expressed antisemitic viewpoints. For example, the Center’s director issued a statement saying she was “in awe of the Palestinian struggle to resist violent occupation, removal, erasure, and the expansion of Israeli settler colonialism.”
  • In addition to serving on its advisory board, Mangi donated roughly $6,500 to the Center. Patterson Belknap, Mangi’s law firm, also donated roughly $13,000. Mangi did not disclose these financial contributions to the Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing.
  • In 2019, Mangi joined the advisory board of the Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ), an anti-law enforcement group. AFJ has lauded cop killers as “freedom fighters” and routinely advocates for their parole. Additionally, AFJ established a fellowship in honor of its co-founder, Kathy Boudin, a member of the Weather Underground terrorist group who participated in a robbery that left a security guard and two police officers dead.
  • Kennedy voted in committee (May 2021) and on the Senate floor (June 2021) to confirm Zahid Quraishi, who is the first-ever Muslim-American federal judge.

News and press releases and opinions from Louisiana United States Senators, Louisiana United States House of Representatives District 3, Louisiana Governor, Louisiana State Senators from Districts 22 and 23, and Louisiana State Representatives from Districts 43 and 49.

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