California, USA (CU)_ According to media reports, Judge Shalina Kumar became the first Indian American judge who was confirmed by the United States Senate as a District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Michigan. She formerly served as chief judge at the Oakland County Circuit Court, serving three six-year terms in 2008, 2014, and 2020. During the election last month, Kumar bagged 44 to 25 Senate votes and was nominated for the post.
President Joe Biden nominated Kumar for the post in June 2021. Senators from both parties voted for her, with 39 Democratic senators in favor and seven abstaining. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins of the Republican Party, as well as independent Angus King, all voted ‘yes.’ Senator Bernie Sanders, as well as 23 Republicans, did not vote.
Senator Debbie Stabenow of the Democratic Party expressed confidence in Kumar’s skills. He said, “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”.
Kumar graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law with a law degree in 1996 and then graduated from the University of Michigan in 1993. Thereafter, she worked in private practice as a civil litigator prior to her appointment as a judge. Kumar’s father is an Indian doctor, while her mother is a Detroit native. She was born and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Following her confirmation, she released a statement thanking the president and the senators who voted for her. She said, “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 honored to be joining this amazing bench”. She added, “I look forward to this next chapter of my work as a public servant and I pledge that everyone in my court will be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”