Senate confirms first U.S. Native American judge in Washington


Lauren King (University of Virginia)

SEATTLE – The Senate has confirmed that Seattle attorney Lauren King was the first Native American federal judge in Washington state.

King has served as a pro tem judge for the Northwest Intertribal Court System, which hears cases from two dozen member tribes. She also heads the Native American Law Practice Group at the law firm Foster Garvey.

She is the second of President Joe Biden’s nominees to be confirmed for Western Washington District Court, after former Grant County Superior Court Judge David Estudillo. It was confirmed on Tuesday.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Seattle, who recommended King, noted that of about 900 confirmed federal judges across the country, King, a citizen of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, where she was born, is the fourth to be native american.

“With 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington, it is not only important but essential that our federal judges understand the unique histories and perspectives of Indigenous peoples and the legal principles that protect and preserve Native American status under the law. federal, ”Murray said. “It’s a perspective that matters, and one that has been missing for too long. “

King also served on the Washington State Gambling Commission and taught Indian Federal Law at Seattle University School of Law.


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