Who is Jaya Badiga? First Telugu woman to be appointed as US judge wins hearts with her swearing-in speech - Hindustan Times
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Who is Jaya Badiga? First Telugu woman to be appointed as US judge wins hearts with her swearing-in speech

May 24, 2024 06:10 PM IST

Jaya Badiga has made history by becoming the first Telugu woman to be appointed as a judge in the United States.

In a remarkable achievement, India born Jaya Badiga has made history by becoming the first Telugu woman to be appointed as a judge in the United States. She was recently appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court in California. Badiga's heartfelt swearing-in speech in Telugu.

Jaya Badiga has made history by becoming the first Telugu woman to be appointed as a judge in the United States.(@SacramentoCourt)
Jaya Badiga has made history by becoming the first Telugu woman to be appointed as a judge in the United States.(@SacramentoCourt)

She began her speech in her mother tongue, Telugu, saying, “Mee andariki naa hrudayapurvaka swagatham,” which means "A heartfelt welcome to you all." She concluded with the Sanskrit mantra, “Asato Ma Sadgamaya,” translating to "Lead me from falsehood to truth," a testament to her deep cultural roots and respect for her heritage.

Jaya Badiga's heart-warming speech goes viral

Many on social media complemented her for her “absolute humbleness - Appreciate her connection with ROOTS”.

Who is Jaya Badiga?

Born in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Badiga's journey to this prestigious role is inspiring. Before her recent appointment, she served as a Commissioner at the Sacramento County Superior Court since 2022. Her appointment by California Governor Gavin Newsom fills the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Robert S. Lapham.

Badiga is a certified family law specialist with more than a decade of experience in Family Law, reflecting her commitment to serving the community with dedication and expertise. Her academic background is equally impressive. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and International Communications from Boston University.

In addition to her recent role, Badiga has a notable career in public service. She served as an Attorney at the California Department of Health Care Services in 2020 and at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, her professional journey underscores her dedication to justice and public service.

Badiga’s appointment has been celebrated widely, particularly within the Telugu community, for whom her speech in Telugu and Sanskrit was a moment of immense pride and connection. Her ability to blend her professional achievements with her cultural heritage has made her an inspiring figure for many.

Who is Raj Singh Badhesha? First Sikh judge in California

Separately, another significant judicial appointment was made by Governor Newsom. Raj Singh Badhesha of Fresno County has been appointed as a Judge in the Fresno County Superior Court. Badhesha, the first Sikh to be appointed to the Fresno County bench and the first Sikh judge in California who observes the practice of wearing the dastar or pagri, has also been warmly welcomed by the Central Valley Punjabi and Asian communities.

Badhesha, who has served as Chief Assistant City Attorney in the Fresno City Attorney’s Office since 2022, expressed his gratitude and commitment to justice following his appointment. His educational background includes a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California College of Law in San Francisco.

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