Labor And Civil Rights Attorney Aruna Masih Named To Oregon Supreme Court
India-West Staff Reporter
Salem, OR—Governor Tina Kotek, a Democrat, has announced that she will appoint Aruna Masih, a long-time employment, worker, and civil rights attorney, to the Oregon Supreme Court. Masih will be Oregon’s first Indian American and South Asian Supreme Court Justice.
“Aruna Masih is a decorated civil rights attorney who has worked on behalf of Oregonians for over twenty-five years in both her career and community service,” said Governor Kotek. “As a practicing attorney, Aruna will bring direct and recent experience working for people — an invaluable perspective that will strengthen the current Oregon Supreme Court. Aruna’s dedication to public service and passion for equal access to justice is also evident from her long-time leadership in advancing equity and diversity in the legal field. I look forward to seeing her continued service to Oregonians as a Supreme Court Justice.”
Masih was born in New York and moved to India with her medical missionary parents when she was 6 months old. Aruna Masih (she/her) has been a practicing attorney in Oregon for over 25 years. For most of her career, she has been a partner in the law firm of Bennett Hartman LLP, providing representation in a variety of areas, including employment, labor, appellate, professional licensure, contract, and constitutional law.
“Equal access to the courts is an issue of civil rights,” said Masih. “To meet the challenges of our society that the pandemic has undeniably made apparent, we must renew our purpose and redouble our efforts to create a justice system that is recognized by those who interact with it and are impacted by it to be respectful, accessible, and just. Over the last twenty-five years, I’ve represented the interests of hundreds of Oregonians, and I look forward to bringing my unique perspective to the Oregon Supreme Court. I am committed to being a fair and thoughtful Justice and to continue being a steward of equal access under the law.”
Masih attended Wellesley College before earning her law degree from Tulane and Creighton Universities. She’s married to a public defender in Multnomah County and attends Calvary Presbyterian Church in Portland.
While Masih was appointed by Kotek, she’ll have to run for office in May. In Oregon, justices and judges are elected to six-year terms.