US President Joe Biden Nominates Indian-American Shalina D Kumar As Federal Judge

In a praiseworthy achievement, Indian-American circuit court chief judge Shalina D Kumar has been nominated by US President Joe Biden as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. The move has come in the fifth round of judicial nominations, the White House announced on June 30 Wednesday. 

The White House further said that if approved, Shalina would be the first federal judge of South Asian descent in Michigan. 

“These choices also continue to fulfil the president’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” the White House was quoted as saying

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Since 2007, Chief Judge Shalina D Kumar has served on the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court. Now nominated by Biden to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, she was appointed in January 2018 as Chief Judge of the Circuit Court by the Michigan Supreme Court. 

The White House stated that besides her duties as a chief judge, Shalina presides over both civil and criminal matters. 

Before stepping into her career, Shalina graduated from the University of Michigan in 1993 and the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law in 1996. 

“Throughout her years on the bench, Judge Kumar has served as a presiding judge of the Adult Treatment Court, the Chairperson of the Oakland County Criminal Assignment Committee, the bench liaison to the Oakland County Bar Association Circuit Court Committee, a member of the Michigan State Bar Professionalism Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan Judges’ Association,” stated a White House Press release dated June 30. 

From 1997 to 2007, before she took the bench, Shalina was a civil litigator in private practice. For instance, from 2000 to 2004, she was an associate with Weiner & Cox PLC from 2004 to 2007 and Sommers, Schwartz, Silver & Schwartz PC. 

On August 20, 2007, former Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Shalina as a judge for the 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County, Michigan, to fill the vacancy that Judge Gene Schnelz created after retirement. In 2008, Shalina was elected to the court and then re-elected in 2014. 

Several organizations have heartily welcomed the White House’s press release, with Senator Gary Peters expressing his happiness at Shalina being nominated and extending support to her.  

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association also applauded the nomination. 

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