AFJ Letter of Support for Amir Ali
The Honorable Richard Durbin
Senate Judiciary Committee
Dear Chairman Durbin:
On behalf of the Alliance for Justice, a national association representing more than 150 diverse organizations united in our commitment to justice, I write to express our strong support for the confirmation of Amir Ali to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. A veteran civil rights litigator and the son of Egyptian immigrants, Ali will bring stellar professional credentials and relatable, real-world experience to the court. If confirmed, Ali will be the first Arab American to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Ali began his professional career as a software engineer after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in software engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Following his graduation, Ali clerked for Judge Raymond C. Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and former Puisne Justice Marshall Rothstein on the Supreme Court of Canada. Ali then served as a litigation associate at Jenner & Block LLP, where he focused on complex civil litigation, regulatory litigation, and appeals.
Ali has dedicated his legal career to advocating for the rights of under-resourced individuals and marginalized communities. His efforts in representing those often unheard demonstrate his exceptional compassion and unwavering belief in equality. Following his departure from Jenner & Block, Ali joined the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center as the firm’s first attorney in Washington, D.C. At the MacArthur Justice Center, Ali has committed his time and expertise to representing the interests of ordinary citizens, ensuring their voices are heard, and holding those in positions of power accountable. For example, in Thompson v. Clark, Ali represented Thompson, a dedicated U.S. Postal Service worker, unjustly accused of a crime. The accusation disrupted his life profoundly and resulted in a six-week absence from his job. Through persuasive advocacy, Ali led the U.S. Supreme Court to acknowledge a cause of action against police officers who pursue false criminal charges.
Ali successfully litigated two other major civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the case of Garza v. Idaho, Ali achieved success by convincing the justices that the constitutional right to counsel includes the right to an appeal, regardless of the conditions of a plea agreement. In Welch v. United States, Ali secured an avenue of relief for a swathe of individuals serving unconstitutional mandatory minimum sentences.
Ali also nurtures future generations of lawyers. Since 2019, Ali has directed Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Appellate Clinic, overseeing a dynamic learning environment for second- and third-year students. He has taught courses including “Supreme Court Practice” at the David A. Clarke School of Law of the University of the District of Columbia, “The Anatomy of a Supreme Court Case” at HLS, and “Constitutional Litigation and the Current Administration” at Georgetown University Law Center.
Throughout his legal career, Ali has been recognized for public service and skill. In 2023, he received the Justice Tribute Award from the Arab American Civil Rights League and the Detroit Branch NAACP, and Bloomberg’s Law “They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40” award. He has also served as a board member of The Appellate Project and the Death Penalty Information Center as well as a Key Society Member for Pathways to Housing D.C, an organization dedicated to eliminating homelessness in the District of Columbia. Demonstrating a range of talents and interests, Ali also serves on the Board of the Mosaic Theatre Company, a group that promotes cultural diversity in the performing arts, bringing a tapestry of voices and perspectives to the stage. We enthusiastically urge the Senate to confirm Amir Ali to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia without delay. He will bring to that bench both expertise and a passion for justice and community. Ali’s confirmation will enhance the Senate’s record on promoting both professional and demographic diversity within the federal judiciary, creating a more inclusive and representative justice system.
President, Alliance for Justice