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Senators Lankford, Mullin Announce Judicial Nominees for the US District Court for Northern District of Oklahoma

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) today announced the nomination of Sara Hill and John Russell for federal judgeship positions for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

“I’m pleased that the White House has nominated Oklahomans Sara Hill and John D. Russell to the US District Court for the Northern District, and I congratulate both nominees,” said Lankford. “Oklahoma is blessed to have many qualified individuals to serve in our courts, but both of these candidates rose to the top after extensive interviews. I have personally met with both of them and heard their commitment to the Constitution and strict rule of law. I look forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee advancing the nominations and the full Senate confirming them soon so they are able to fill two vacancies in the very overburdened Northern District Court.” 

“I was happy to hear of the nomination of two solid candidates for these vacancies in the Northern District,” said Mullin. “As a fellow member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, I am grateful for Sara Hill’s service to the Tribe, which totals approximately 19 years in the aggregate. Ms. Hill is very familiar with the Northern District of Oklahoma, having previously served as a Special Assistant US Attorney. John D. Russell has a strong history in public service as well. Like Ms. Hill, he is familiar with the Northern District, having previously served as an Assistant US Attorney, as well as a trial attorney at the Department of Justice’s Tax Division. I anticipate a smooth and swift consideration of both candidates by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and their ultimate confirmation by the full Senate.”

Sara Hill served as the Attorney General for Cherokee Nation and has previously served as Special Assistant United States Attorney for the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma from 2014-2016. Hill was appointed by Principal Chief Bill John Baker and confirmed by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council to serve as the first Secretary of National Resources for Cherokee Nation from 2015-2019. From 2004-2015, she served as Assistant/Deputy Attorney General for Cherokee Nation. Hill received her J.D. from the University of Tulsa in 2003 and her B.A. from Northeastern State University in 2000.

Since 2015, John D. Russell has served as a shareholder at GableGotwals in Tulsa, Oklahoma advising in areas of commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense. He previously worked for Fellers Snider Blankenship Bailey & Tippens advising on commercial litigation, administrative litigation, and white-collar criminal defense cases. From 1995-2002 he served as Assistant United States Attorney for the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma. He has also served as an attorney for Sneed Lang Adams & Barnett and before that was a trial attorney for the US Department of Justice, Tax Division in Washington, DC. He has received several honors including Oklahoma Top 50: Super Lawyers in 2013, 2015, 2021, and 2022. Russell received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1988 and his B.S. from Oklahoma State University in 1982.