In December 2013, Governor Jerry Brown appointed attorney Sunshine Sykes as the first-ever Native American woman on the Riverside County Superior Court Bench. Just 4 months later, her seat was challenged. This week, the Riverside County voters reaffirmed her selection by re-electing Judge Sykes to the bench with 68.81% of the vote!
Judge Sykes is a member of the Navajo Nation and has nearly 15 years of broad legal experience behind her. Impressively, Judge Sykes received her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from Stanford Law School. She is also a mother of 4 daughters. Judge Sykes was the honored speaker at Procopio’s International Women of Color Day Reception earlier this year.
This news comes on the heels of last month’s confirmation of Diane Humetewa as the first-ever Native American woman to serve as a U.S. District Court judge. Diane Humetewa is a member of the Hopi Nation and will serve on the bench in Arizona.
Judge Sykes and Diane Humetewa make me proud to be a Native American woman. Thank you both for paving the way for other Native American women and making a positive impact on the world!
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Jaclyn Simi was a 2012 Procopio Native American Intern and is currently an associate in Procopio’s Labor and Employment Practice Team and Native American Practice Group.
Ted is head of the Native American Law practice group and primary editor for the Blogging Circle. Connect with Ted at email@example.com and 619.515.3277.