Liz Gray/Managing Editor
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – Muscogee citizen Lauren J. King has been confirmed with a 55-44 vote by the U.S. Senate. Upon taking her oath, she will become the first Native American federal judge for the state of Washington.
King was nominated by President Joe Biden in May and will serve the Western District of Washington.
Federal district court judges are nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate and serve lifetime appointments upon good behavior.
In the 231-year history of the federal courts, only four Native Americans, which includes King, have been appointed as federal judges.
She is a partner at Foster Garvey, P.C., formerly known as Foster Pepper PLLC, in Seattle. King practiced with the firm since 2012 and chairs their Native American practice group.
“We’re thrilled to learn of the historical confirmation of Ms. Lauren King to a federal judgeship,” Muscogee Nation Principal Chief David Hill said. “She has been a champion for Indian law, a warrior for sovereignty and is a proven example of leadership among her peers in the profession. When strong, Muscogee women make history, it’s always a good day.”
King is also part of the Mvskoke Reservation Protection Commission, which identify needs and offer solutions to strengthen sovereignty in the wake of the McGirt decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020.
She has also served on the board of the Northwest Tribal Court Judges Association since 2015 as well as a member of the Seattle Indian Health Board from 2017-2019.
Born in Oklahoma City, King received her Juris Doctor in 2008 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology. She has also taught Federal Indian Law at Seattle University School of Law as an adjunct professor.
King is a member of New Tulsa Tribal Town and is of the Sweet Potato Clan. Her grandmother is the late Anna (Jacobs) King and her great-aunt is former Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Representative Irene Cleghorn. Her great-grandfather John Jacobs was also a lawyer and served on the House of Kings and House of Warriors.