In a first, Indian-American Democrat Shama Hakim Mesiwala has been unanimously confirmed as associate justice of the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, California.
Mesiwala, 48, was administered the oath of office this month by Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero, chair of the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
She was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the three-member commission, which included Chief Justice Guerrero, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Acting Presiding Justice Ronald B. Robie.
Judge Mesiwala, who would now be the first South Asian American woman and the first Muslim American woman on any appellate court in the country, would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Coleman A. Blease.
She has served as a Sacramento County Superior Court judge since 2017 and was a commissioner there in 2017.
Mesiwala is the co-founder of the South Asian Bar Association of Sacramento and the president of the Schwartz/Levi Inn of Court.
She served as the Americans with Disabilities judge for the Sacramento County Superior Court Hall of Justice and created the first Indian Child Welfare Act courtroom in Northern California.
Armed with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law, Mesiwala also teaches appellate advocacy as an adjunct professor in the same university.20230228-104403