By: Angel Ellis, Director
WASHINGTON, DC– A Mvskoke citizen could be the first tribal citizen to serve as a federal judge in Washington, a state that is home to 29 federally recognized Indian tribes. Lauren J. King, if confirmed would be one of only three active Native American federal judges in the U.S., and the fifth to serve the federal bench in U.S. History.
Muscogee Nation Principal Chief David Hill had high praise for U.S. President Biden’s selection.
“The Muscogee Nation applauds President Biden’s nomination of Lauren King for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington,” Chief Hill said. “As a Muscogee citizen and a woman, this nomination continues a welcome trend of Native women at the forefront of consideration for positions of leadership and influence in our country.
King is a principal at Foster Garvey, P.C. based in Seattle, Washington, where she has practiced since 2012. She chairs the firm’s Native American Law Practice Group and has served as a pro tem appellate judge for the Northwest Intertribal Court System since 2013.
King is also an appointed Commissioner on the Washington State Gambling Commission. She previously taught Federal Indian Law at the Seattle University School of Law.
Prior to joining Foster Garvey, King was an associate at Byrnes Keller Cromwell LLP from 2010 to 2012 and at K&L Gates from 2008 to 2009. Ms. King graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2008, and from the University of Washington, with distinction, in 2004.
A briefing from the White House announced several other groundbreaking choices reflecting diversity in the Biden’s nominees.
Along side King Biden has nominated the second judge of Hispanic origin to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the second judge from Puerto Rico to ever sit on the First Circuit.
He’s also nominated the second African American woman ever to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit who also is the first ever judicial nominee having experience as a federal defender.
Biden has nominated an immigrant who came to the US as a small child and could be the only judge with experience to as a federal defender serving on the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Another nomination is the first African American district court judge to sit in the Camden Courthouse of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
The briefing said, “These individuals embody President Biden’s commitment to ensure that his judicial nominees represent not only the excellence but the diversity of our nation with respect to both personal and professional backgrounds.“
National Congress of American Indians issued a statement in support of King’s nomination.
“NCAI strongly supports the nomination of Lauren J. King, a citizen of the Muscogee Nation, as the first ever Native American judge to serve on a federal bench in Washington State,” said President Fawn Sharp of the National Congress of American Indians. “Washington state is home to 29 federally recognized Indian tribes, making it critical that its federal judges better reflect the communities they serve and understand the unique histories of Native peoples and the legal principles that protect and preserve our standing under federal law.”