Michigan’s first judge of South Asian descent is sworn in as Federal District Court judge for the Eastern District of Michigan


FLINT, MI – Shalina Kumar, who most recently served as Chief Justice of the Oakland County Circuit Court, has become the most recent United States District Court judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. .

Kumar is the first person of South Asian descent to be appointed to a federal judge post in Michigan, according to a Thursday, Dec. 23 press release from the U.S. District Court.

The new judge was confirmed by the US Senate on December 17.

President Joe Biden signed his commission on Tuesday, December 21, and it was sworn in on the morning of Thursday, December 23 by U.S. District Chief Justice Denise Page Hood at the U.S. courthouse Theodore Levin in Detroit.

Kumar will be based at the U.S. Flint District Courthouse, one of five federal courthouses in the Eastern District, which covers the eastern part of the state from the Ohio border to the Mackinac Bridge.

“I am deeply, deeply humbled by the faith and trust that the President and the Senators have placed in me for this very important role and I am very honored to join this incredible bench,” Kumar said in a statement. “I look forward to this next chapter of my work as a public servant and I am committed to ensuring that all members of my tribunal are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. “

Born in Royal Oak and raised in Bloomfield Hills, Kumar is a graduate of Andover High School and an alumnus of the University of Michigan where she received a BA in Psychology with Distinction in 1993.

She received her law degree from the Mercy School of Law at the University of Detroit in 1996.

Kumar first worked as a substitute teacher for the Bloomfield Hills School District, during which time she was elected to Sylvan Lake City Council.

She received her LLB in 1997 and worked as a partner in four Oakland County law firms for the next 10 years, dealing primarily with personal injury litigation.

In August 2007, former Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Kumar to a vacant position on the Oakland County Circuit Court. She was elected for six-year terms in 2008, 2014 and 2020.

The Michigan Supreme Court appointed Kumar Chief Justice of Oakland County in 2018 after serving as Chief Justice pro tempore.

Kumar replaces United States District Judge Victoria Roberts, who moved from active to senior status in February, allowing Roberts to continue working with a reduced workload.

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