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New Jersey Governor Nominates Two Indian Americans and One Bangladeshi American to Superior Court

New Jersey Governor Nominates Two Indian Americans and One Bangladeshi American to Superior Court

  • The names announced on Feb. 28 consist of a majority of minority judicial candidates including Supti Bhattacharya, Arvin Aithal, and Rahat Babar.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has nominated former deputy attorney general Rahat Babar to a seat on the Superior Court in Mercer County. If confirmed, he becomes the first Bangladeshi American on the bench to serve as Superior Court Judge in the state. The nominations announced on Feb. 28 include a majority of minority judicial candidates. Supti Bhattacharya has been nominated for a seat in Mercer County, along with Arvin Aithal for the Superior Court. Aithal is a law partner of State Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway) and the Middlesex Borough Attorney. Joining them is Nadia Kahf, who practices immigration law in Haledon and would sit in Passaic County.

As deputy attorney general, Babar oversaw all high-profile litigation for the Governor’s office. He served as a special assistant to Attorney General Christopher Porrino and as director of Community Engagement under Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. He’s also a former adjunct professor at Temple University Beasley School of law and as a law clerk to Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele. He is the past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania.

Bhattacharya manages the family law practice at Hill Wallack, where she litigates cases throughout New Jersey in the areas of family law and matrimonial law. She chairs the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection and is a South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey trustee. She is admitted to practice in the State of New Jersey, the United States District Court for New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. She earned her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Newark and her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, where she triple majored in Sociology, Urban Studies and South Asia Studies. Her legal career began as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Michelle C. Hollar-Gregory (Ret.)

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According to, “Kahf and Babar are nominated at a time when Muslim American leadership is growing in areas including politics, medicine and education in a state where 3% of the population identifies as Muslim.” Shama Haider, of Tenafly, and Sadaf Jaffer, of Montgomery Township, were elected to the New Jersey Assembly in the November election, becoming the first Muslims to serve in the state Legislature. The two women were among more than 35 Muslims who ran for office across New Jersey in state and local races. In June, New Jersey Magistrate Judge Zahid Quraishi was sworn in as a U.S. district judge for the District of New Jersey, becoming the first Muslim to serve on the federal bench.

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  • Please leave Bengali Americans out of this. They’re Muslims who don’t have ties to Indian Americans. They want to have their own identity and not be sewn under the same label as Indians.

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