In the Courts

Biden Judicial Nominee Instructed Preferred Pronouns Be Used In His Courtroom

One of President Joe Biden’s recent judicial nominees instructs parties and lawyers in his courtroom to address one another using their preferred “pronouns and honorifics.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai, Biden’s nominee for the U.S District Court for the District of Oregon, advocates for the use of pronouns in the courtroom, official opinions and emails. Republican senators tore into his record during confirmation hearings Wednesday, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slamming his views on sexuality as “radical” and Utah Sen. Mike Lee pressing him on his views on diversity, equity and inclusion(DEI).

“The parties and counsel are encouraged to advise the Court of their pronouns and honorifics (such as Mx., Ms., or Mr.),” Kasubhai’s webpage states. “People appearing before this Court may provide their pronouns and honorifics in writing or orally when appearing for conferences, hearings, or trials.”

An attached “Pronouns in the Courts” guidance sheet also directs the use of pronouns in email signatures and bylines in official opinions.

“Many Biden nominees have been extreme, but your record is so far out of the mainstream that you have attracted virtually all of the questions,” Cruz said during the hearing.

Lee cited remarks Kasubhai made during a presentation this year to the Oregon State Bar, where he said “DEI — diversity, equity and inclusion — is the heart and soul of the court system,” according to OPB.

“Access to justice is at the heart of the work that I do within the courtroom and ensuring that everybody is dignified and treated with dignity when they come into the courtroom and from me to preside over those cases,” Kasubhai told Lee, according to the outlet.

Kasubhai explained his practice of including pronouns in written opinions in a 2021 essay published by the Oregon Women Lawyers’ quarterly newspaper entitled “Pronouns and Privilege.”

“Assuming the practice reflects an authentic commitment to equity and inclusion, imagine how powerful a statement it could be when Ninth Circuit Court judges do this,” he wrote. “And dare I dare to imagine when U.S. Supreme Court justices include their pronouns?”

In the essay, Kasubhai also notes that he removed the word “preferred” from his advice after a civil rights attorney informed him that for some, “a pronoun is not a preference, but a statement of fact.”

“When people feel unsafe coming into the courts because of their gender identity, there is no real access,” Kasubhai wrote. “When we deny someone their identity, we have the power to erase them. That is horrifying.”

Kasubhai did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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