Jaya Badiga, first Andhra-born woman to become US judge, offers Telugu welcome: Watch - Hindustan Times
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Jaya Badiga, first Andhra-born woman to become US judge, offers Telugu welcome: Watch

BySumanti Sen
May 24, 2024 06:53 PM IST

Indian-American attorney Jaya Badiga has become the first Telugu woman to be appointed as a judge in the United States.

Indian-American attorney Jaya Badiga has become the first Telugu woman to be appointed as a judge in the United States. Badiga has been appointed a judge in Sacramento County Superior Court in California. She is the daughter of Badiga Ramakrishna, an industrialist and former Machilipatnam Lok Sabha MP.

Jaya Badiga, first Andhra-born woman to become US judge, offers Telugu welcome (@SacramentoCourt)
Jaya Badiga, first Andhra-born woman to become US judge, offers Telugu welcome (@SacramentoCourt)

After her appointment as a judge in the US, a viral video shows Badiga offering a Telugu welcome and ending her speech with the Sanskrit prayer Asato Ma Sadgamaya. Badiga has filled the vacancy that Judge Robert S Lapham created.

Badiga previously served as a commissioner for the Sacramento County Superior Court, where she had been assigned to a domestic violence and child support calendar. A certified family law specialist, she has notably worked in Family Law for more than 10 years.

Judge Jaya Badiga’s journey

Badiga was born in Vijayawada city of Andhra Pradesh, India. Her educational journey began in Hyderabad. She earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology and political science from Osmania University. She later moved to the US to pursue further studies.

Badiga pursued a Master's degree in International Relations and International Communication from Boston University in the US. She then did a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University.

In 2009, Badiga passed the California State Bar Examination, and thus began her legal career. She worked as a sole practitioner from 2018 to 2022, and also as an attorney at the California Department of Health Care Services and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

Badiga was a faculty member at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the McGeorge School of Law, contributing to legal education. Her appointment was announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

As many as 18 other judicial appointments were made, including Raj Singh Badhesha, another judge of Indian origin. Badhesha is a Democrat, and has now become the first Sikh to be appointed to the Fresno County bench. He also became the first Sikh judge in California who is responsible for observing the practice of wearing the dastar or pagri – the Sikh headdress.

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