About Nusrat Choudhury

Nusrat J. Choudhury is a United States District Court Judge in the Eastern District of New York. She is the first Muslim woman and first Bangladeshi American in United States history to serve as a federal judge.

Immediately prior to her appointment, Judge Choudhury served as the Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, where she oversaw a team of lawyers advancing civil rights and civil liberties across Illinois. Judge Choudhury also served for more than a decade in various roles at the national American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”), including as Deputy Director in the ACLU Racial Justice Program and Staff Attorney in the ACLU National Security Project. As an attorney, Judge Choudhury handled complex federal cases, including class actions, concerning constitutional and federal rights on behalf of people who could not afford counsel.

Judge Choudhury’s successful legal challenges while at the ACLU include four lawsuits against the unlawful jailing of poor people for unpaid fines, which led to statewide changes advancing equal treatment for rich and poor in Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Washington as well as landmark reforms in Biloxi, Mississippi. Her litigation against Milwaukee’s pedestrian and traffic stop-and-frisk program resulted in groundbreaking reforms to promote constitutional, safe, and effective policing. As an attorney, Judge Choudhury also brought litigation securing the first federal court ruling that struck down the U.S. government’s No Fly List redress procedures for violating due process as well as litigation that led to a court-ordered settlement agreement guarding against the targeting of any New Yorker because of their religious beliefs.

While serving as Legal Director of the ACLU of Illinois, Judge Choudhury led efforts to advance safe conditions in county jails for medically vulnerable detainees awaiting immigration proceedings, represented community organizations in a coalition enforcing a federal consent decree to reform Chicago police patterns of excessive force, and advanced an end to fine and fee practices that punish people for poverty, including by leading a coalition of organizations with diverse views in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Chicago v. Fulton.

Judge Choudhury clerked for Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Judge Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Judge Choudhury received her J.D. from Yale Law School, her M.P.A. with Distinction in International Development from Princeton University, and her B.A. summa cum laude from Columbia University. She is a recipient of the South Asian Bar Association of New York Access to Justice Award and the Edward Bullard Distinguished Alumnus Award of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. 

Education

  • BA in History, Columbia University
  • MPA in International Development, Princeton University
  • JD in Law, Yale University

Professional Fields

Work History

  • Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program
  • Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Program
  • Deputy Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program
  • Roger Pascal Legal Director, ACLU of Illinois
  • United States District Judge, Eastern District of New York

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