Gurbir Grewal is about to become the first Sikh Attorney-General in U.S. history
By: Barfi Culture Team
Published: 12th December 2017

The incoming Governor of New Jersey today nominated Gurbir Grewal as the state's Attorney General, the first turbaned man in such a position.

It makes Grewal the first American Sikh to be nominated Attorney General in New Jersey and in U.S. history. It also makes him one of the most powerful lawyers in America.

His job will be to represent the state on legal matters and act as its chief law enforcement officer. The appointment also sets him up to clash directly with Donald Trump.

"Our state need someone with a steel backbone who will not be afraid to stand up to President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress to protect the rights and values of our state and of all 9 million of our residents,” Governor-elect Phil Murphy said at a news conference today.

Murphy will take office on 16th January after winning the election last month to succeed the unpopular Republican governor Chris Christie.

Gurbir Grewal was previously the top prosecutor in NJ's Bergen County and a former chief of the Economic Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney's Office. He was also president of the South Asian Bar Association of New York.

At the press conference he said he was a proud resident of the culturally and ethnically diverse state and someone who had "experienced hate and intolerance firsthand".

The appointment will make 44 year-old Grewal one of the highest-profile prosecutors in the country.

But he is not the first Sikh to be in that position. Preet Bharara was "the most famous and powerful" U.S. Attorneys in the country before he was fired by Trump in a purge of Obama appointees.

"What you see here is Gov.-elect Murphy satisfying his campaign promise that the attorney general would be somebody who is not only a distinguished lawyer, but someone who has personal experience with a lot of issues that the diverse residents of New Jersey face," a government source told ROI-NJ.

They added: "Having that cultural perspective provides you with vision and foresight to do your job better."

Grewal's appointment will have to be approved by the state Senate after the new governor takes office. But it is a formality since Democrats have a majority in New Jersey.

Article published on 12th December 2017 in the Politics section

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