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Jaya Badiga becomes first Telugu judge in the USA

Sacramento, CA, May 27, 2024: California Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Jaya Badiga to the Sacramento Superior Court, making her the first Telugu judge in the United States. This appointment marks a significant milestone for the Telugu community in America.

Badiga offered her welcome (Swagatam) in Telugu and ended her speech with the Sanskrit prayer, Asathoma sadgamaya.

Badiga was born in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, and completed her education in Hyderabad. She is an alumna of Osmania University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science from 1991 to 1994. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and International Communications from Boston University.

“The court looks forward to these additions to the bench,” said Presiding Judge Bunmi O. Awoniyi. “The collective experience that comes with Commissioner Badiga, Ms. Holliday, and Ms. Zuvela will serve continued access to justice in Sacramento County.”

Jaya Badiga, a resident of Sacramento County, has served as a Commissioner at the Sacramento Superior Court since 2022. Before this, she was a Sole Practitioner from 2018 to 2022. She also worked 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.

From 2013 to 2018, Badiga was the Managing Attorney at WEAVE Inc., an organization focused on supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She also served as an Attorney Advisor at Galaxy Architects & Infrastructure from 2010 to 2013 and as Staff Counsel at the California Employment Development Department from 2009 to 2010.

Badiga holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and International Communications from Boston University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert S. Lapham.

In addition to Badiga, Governor Newsom also appointed two other judges, Ms. Holliday and Ms. Zuvela, to the Sacramento Superior Court bench.

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