NCAI and NARF Applaud President Biden’s Historic Nomination of the First Native American Woman to the Federal Bench in Oklahoma

Today, President Joseph R. Biden announced his intent to nominate Sara Hill (Cherokee) to serve as a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Ms. Hill is President Biden’s fourth Native American judicial nominee and, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, would be the first American Indian or Alaska Native woman to serve as a federal judge in Oklahoma.  She would be the only actively serving Native American federal judge in Oklahoma, and the seventh actively serving as a federal district court judge in the United States.

Photo of woman smiling. Text: Congratulations Sara Hill (Cherokee) on her nomination to the US District Court in Oklahoma.

Ms. Hill has had a long career in civil service, including as the Attorney General and the Secretary of Natural Resources for the Cherokee Nation.  She has litigated at all levels of state and federal courts on a diverse range of issues including the Nation’s treaty rights and the preservation of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

“NCAI strongly supports President Biden’s nomination of Sara Hill, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, to be the first-ever Native American woman to sit on the federal bench in the state of Oklahoma,” said National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Director Larry Wright, Jr. “Sara Hill will bring unparalleled experience in law and policy to our justice system. NCAI urges the swift confirmation of Ms. Hill as the nomination moves before the U.S. Senate.”

Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Executive Director John Echohawk reacted to Wednesday’s news, “Sara Hill has a strong history of public service and possesses excellent qualifications to be a federal judge. We applaud the Biden Administration’s selection of this historic nominee and urge her confirmation. She will be a strong addition to the federal judiciary in Oklahoma.”

NARF and NCAI have long advocated for increasing Native representation in the federal court system. It is imperative to have federal judges who understand the unique relationship between the United States and tribal nations and who reflect a more diverse swath of the districts that they serve.

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