In a landmark achievement, Jaya Badiga, originally from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, has been appointed as a judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court, making her the first Telugu woman to hold such a position in the United States. Badiga’s appointment by California Governor Gavin Newsom marks a significant milestone for the Telugu and Indian communities in America.

Jaya Badiga, the daughter of former Machilipatnam MP and industrialist Badiga Ramakrishna, began her academic journey in Hyderabad. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science from Osmania University. Badiga then moved to the US, where she earned a Master’s degree in International Relations and International Communication from Boston University, followed by a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University.

Before her appointment, Badiga served as a commissioner for the Sacramento County Superior Court, specializing in domestic violence and child support cases. Her extensive experience in family law spans over a decade, during which she also became a certified family law specialist. Her legal career began in 2009, and she has worked in various capacities, including as a sole practitioner, attorney at the California Department of Health Care Services, and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

In addition to her practical legal work, Badiga has contributed to legal education as a faculty member at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the McGeorge School of Law.

Governor Newsom’s announcement included 18 new judicial appointments, featuring another judge of Indian origin, Raj Singh Badesha. Badiga fills the vacancy left by the retired Judge Robert S. Lapham, bringing her expertise and unique background to the Sacramento County Superior Court.