Historic Judicial Appointment: Jaya Badiga Becomes First Telugu Woman Judge in the US

Jaya Badgia
Preeti Bali / 7:55 am / May 27, 2024

 Jaya Badiga, a native of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, has achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Telugu woman to be appointed as a judge in the United States. She has been appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court in California. Jaya is the daughter of industrialist and former Machilipatnam Lok Sabha Member of Parliament, Badiga Ramakrishna.


Legal Career and Previous Roles

Prior to her judgeship, Jaya Badiga served as a commissioner for the Sacramento County Superior Court. Her appointment marks a significant achievement for both the Telugu and the broader Indian communities in the US. In her role as commissioner, she was responsible for handling cases related to domestic violence and child support. A certified family law specialist, Badiga has over a decade of experience in family law.


Educational and Professional Background

Jaya Badiga’s educational journey began in Hyderabad, India, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science from Osmania University. She then moved to the United States to further her studies, earning a Master’s degree in International Relations and International Communication from Boston University, followed by a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University.


Professional Milestones

Jaya commenced her legal career in 2009 after passing the California State Bar Examination. Between 2018 and 2022, she practiced law independently. Additionally, she has worked as an attorney with the California Department of Health Care Services and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Jaya has also contributed to legal education as a faculty member at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the McGeorge School of Law.


Appointment Announcement

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Jaya’s appointment, which was part of a broader announcement of 18 new judicial appointments. Among these appointments was another judge of Indian descent, Raj Singh Badesha. Jaya Badiga fills the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Robert S. Lapham.


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