Twin sisters in Birmingham, Alabama are making history by taking the bench as district court judges at the same time.
Alabama reports Shera Grant has joined sister Shanta Owens after being appointed to the position in Jefferson County last Friday. Grant will handle small civil cases, a step towards building her budding career. Grant was recommended along with three others by the Jefferson County Judicial Commission to fill the seat following Jack Lowther’s retirement.
During the interview process, it was discovered Grant was the twin sister of Owens, who has held her seat since 2008. After winning her second term, Owens is up for re-election in 2020. Jefferson County officials say Grant was chosen thanks to her commendable background and will for public service.
“Ms. Grant is highly qualified, motivated and prepared to be a district judge,” according to a statement from Jennifer Ardis, communications director for Bentley. “The governor’s office found out about her twin sister during the interview process. Public service seems to be a trait that runs in her family.”
“I’m just overwhelmed, overjoyed. … I think this is a wonderful opportunity to serve the citizens of this county,” she said.
Twin sisters on the bench would be a first in Birmingham. In the past, siblings and married couples have been appointed seats in Jefferson County’s District or Circuit courts, but never twins.
Owens is just four minutes older than her sister, but their interests in public service are relatively the same. Before working as prosecutors, both sisters attended Alabama State University and were graduates of Louisiana State University’s law school. Their six-year-old girls and three-year-old sons were born four months apart. They wed two months apart in 2003, and their husbands are childhood friends.
The girls were raised by their mother Loretta Bitten, a librarian for the Birmingham Library, instilling in them a love for reading at a young age.
Grant will start her new position Jan. 25. Currently, she is a deputy Jefferson County Public Defender and a board member on the Vestavia Hills Board of Education. We wish the two sisters the best of luck.
SOURCE: Alabama | PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook