Shalina Kumar, Nominated by Biden, Becomes First Indian-American Judge

The confirmed district court judge's father, a physician, is from India, while her mother is from Detroit.

Indian Diaspora
2 min read
Shalina Kumar, Nominated by Biden, Becomes First Indian-American Judge

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Judge Shalina Kumar is now the first Indian American judge to be confirmed by the United States Senate as a District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Michigan, The Detroit News reported.

She was previously the chief judge for the Oakland County Circuit Court, for which she was elected to six-year terms in 2008, 2014 and 2020.

Kumar received 44 to 25 votes from the Senate on the night of 17 December.


President Joe Biden had named Kumar as a nominee in June earlier this year.

39 Democrat senators voted in favour of her, while seven of them abstained from voting.

Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, and independent senator Angus King also voted 'aye'.

Senator Bernie Sanders didn't vote either, and neither did 23 Republicans.

"Judge Kumar is a respected Chief Judge of the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court, and I know she will continue her excellent work as a federal judge," Senator Debbie Stabenow of the Democratic Party said.

Before her career as a judge, Kumar, who is a 1996 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a 1993 graduate of the University of Michigan, was in private practice as a civil litigator.


Kumar's father is a physician from India, while her mother is from Detroit.

She was born in a city called Royal Oak, in Michigan.

"I am deeply, deeply humbled by the faith and trust the president and senators have placed in me for this very important role and I am so honoured to be joining this amazing bench", her statement read after her confirmation, The Detroit News added.

"I look forward to this next chapter of my work as a public servant and I pledge that everyone in my court will treated with the respect and dignity they deserve."

(With inputs from The Detroit News)

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Topics:  Indian American   Michigan   Shalina Kumar 

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