Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that he is appointing Raquel Montoya-Lewis to a new seat on the Whatcom County Superior Court. The new position was approved by the state Legislature in 2013 and established a fourth judge on the bench.
Montoya-Lewis currently serves as the Chief Judge for the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian Tribes in Washington and is an associate professor at Western Washington University. She is also an Appellate Court Judge for the Nisqually Tribal Court of Appeals and the Northwest Intertribal Court System and previously for the Nooksack Tribal Court of Appeals. Montoya-Lewis is from the Pueblo of Isleta and the Pueblo of Laguna Indian tribes, and will be the only Native American Superior Court judge in Washington state.
“Raquel’s 15 years of experience as a judge will be well appreciated on the Superior Court,” said Inslee. “She is wise and has a strong commitment to service and to promoting justice. I know she will serve the community and the court exceptionally well.”
Montoya-Lewis is currently an appointee on the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and was appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire to the Washington Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice. She has a J.D. and master’s in social work from the University of Washington and her B.A. from the University of New Mexico.
Montoya-Lewis’ term on the Whatcom County Superior Court begins in January 2015.