Monday, December 9, 2013

Riverside County Gets First Native American Judge: Sunshine Sykes. Can She Protect the Rights of Native Americans Harmed by Corrupt Tribal Governments?

Congratulations to Judge Sykes.  Hopefully, she can be an advocate for Native Americans that have been harmed by their tribes.  There are hundreds in Riverside County that have been harmed by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians.
Attorney Sunshine S. Sykes became Riverside County Superior Court’s first Native American judge when she appointed to the bench by Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday, Dec. 5.
Brown also announced Thursday the appointment of Khymberli S.Y. Apaloo as San Bernardino County Superior Court judge. She had been serving as a commissioner. Apaloo, 43, is from Rancho Cucamonga.
Sykes, 39, of Riverside, has been a  a deputy county counsel at the Riverside County Office of County Counsel since 2005.
The graduate of Stanford University Law School, where she also earned her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree, is a member of the Navajo Nation.
She was a contract attorney at the Juvenile Defense Panel from 2003 to 2005.  Sykes was a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works fellow at the California Indian Legal Services from 2001 to 2003, according to a release from the governor’s press office.
Sykes, a Democrat, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Randall White.
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