Wayne NJ lawyer nominated as state judge

Nadia Kahf, a family law attorney from Wayne, is poised to become one of just a handful of Muslim women to serve as a state Superior Court judge in New Jersey, after Gov. Phil Murphy nominated her earlier this week. 

Kahf, part of a diverse slate of 15 nominees announced Monday, would serve in Passaic County if confirmed by state legislators. 

“I’m overwhelmed and very happy and very honored as well,” said Kahf, 50, in an interview. “I’m happy the bench is going to reflect the residents of New Jersey and that we are moving toward that.” 

At her law practice in Haledon, Kahf specializes in family law and has worked on immigration cases. Since 2003, she has served on the board of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization, and she is the chairwoman.

Nadia Kahf, an attorney in Haledon, was nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy to serve as a state Superior Court judge in Passaic County.

She is also chairwoman of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, one of the largest mosques in the state, with campuses in Paterson and Clifton. Kahf, who came to the U.S. from Syria at age 2, is the legal adviser to Wafa House, a nonprofit domestic violence and social services agency based in Clifton.

Kahf would be the first hijab-wearing state judge, but not the first Muslim. Two Muslim women, Sharifa Salaam and Kalimah Ahmad, serve as Superior Court judges in Essex and Hudson counties, respectively. Judge Sohail Mohammed serves in Passaic County. Hany Mawla, a former Superior Court judge, now presides in the Appellate Division.