By U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman
On December 5, 2019, the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse in Eugene filled with friends, family members, and colleagues to welcome U.S. Magistrate Judge Mustafa Taher Kasubhai to the District of Oregon federal bench at his formal investiture ceremony. Jackie Klein, Judge Kasubhai’s courtroom deputy, opened court and U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane welcomed the crowd. The jury box overflowed with judges from the federal bench, as well as the Oregon Supreme Court, Oregon Court of Appeals, Lane County Circuit Court, and Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Several distinguished speakers, with whom Judge Kasubhai has crossed paths throughout his legal career, paid tribute to Judge Kasubhai. Dean of the University of Oregon School of Law, Marcilynn Burke, began, followed by Elisa Dozono (Partner, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP), Jonathan Patterson (National Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Compassion & Choices), Gabriela Sanchez (Partner, Lane Powell PC), and Gerry Gaydos (Partner, Gaydos Churnside & Balthrop PC).
Judge McShane administered the oath of office, after which Judge Kasubhai kneeled down low so that his young son and daughter could assist his wife, Kristin Lee, with the robing ceremony. Judge Kasubhai then shared moving remarks in his booming poetic baritone. Throughout the ceremony, Judge Kasubhai’s father, Taher Kasubhai, sat by quietly beaming with pride. Following the courtroom ceremony, guests celebrated Judge Kasubhai at a courthouse reception.
Judge Kasubhai was appointed to the federal bench on September 21, 2018, following 11 years of service as a Lane County Circuit Court Judge. Prior to joining the state bench, Judge Kasubhai practiced law in Eugene and Klamath Falls, and served as a board member of the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board. Judge Kasubhai received his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1996 and attended college at the University of California Berkeley.
Judge Kasubhai fills the seat of the Hon. Jolie Russo, who served as U.S. Magistrate Judge in Eugene from 2016 until she was appointed to serve in Portland in 2018. Prior to Judge Russo, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin held the seat from 1992 until he changed to recall status in 2016. The Honorable Michael Hogan served as the U.S. Magistrate Judge in Eugene from 1973 until 1991, when he was appointed to serve as a U.S. District Judge. Judge Kasubhai is the only non-recall U.S. Magistrate Judge serving in the Eugene courthouse, but serves alongside U.S. District Judges Ann Aiken and Michael McShane.
Judge Kasubhai is the first Muslim American to serve as a federal judge in the United States. As a first-generation Muslim American of South Asian/Indian descent, Judge Kasubhai has been dedicated to promoting diversity and equality throughout his legal career, and has served as a mentor and role model to many young attorneys and students over the years.