Chief Justice M. John Kane IV

Supreme Court Judicial District 1

Chief Justice Kane was appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 2019 by Governor Kevin Stitt following the retirement of Justice John Reif. Kane’s tenure as Chief Justice began in January of 2023, after his previous two-year service as the Vice-Chief Justice. 

Chief Justice Kane graduated from Pawhuska High School. Kane obtained his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University, where he was recognized as one of the top ten graduating men of the class of 1984.  He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma School of law.  In his youth, Kane spent his summers living and working on the Kane Ranch in western Osage County, Oklahoma.

Kane had the privilege of practicing law with his grandfather and his father during their lifetimes in Pawhuska. Kane is a former president of the Osage County Bar Association, and is a Fellow of the Oklahoma Bar Association.  As an attorney, he served as a part-time Assistant District Attorney for Osage and Pawnee Counties, prosecuting the child support docket.  He later served as an administrative law judge for the Department of Human Services for child support enforcement in Osage, Pawnee, Washington, and Nowata counties. 

Prior to his service on the Supreme Court, Kane had been appointed by Governor Brad Henry to the trial bench as the District Judge for the Tenth Judicial District (Osage County) in 2005. He was reelected in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018.  Kane was responsible for the creation of Osage County’s first Drug Court.  Kane formerly served as Presiding Judge for the eight-county Northeast Oklahoma Judicial Administrative District, and he is a former President of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. As a trial judge, Kane had also served as the Presiding Judge on the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary, Trial Division.

Chief Justice Kane is the great-grandson of a member of Oklahoma’s first Supreme Court: Chief Justice Matthew John Kane I. The original Justice Kane was a delegate to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention prior to his service on the high Court.  John’s great-grandmother is the late Mabelle Kennedy, a former Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury in the Truman administration.

Chief Justice Kane’s wife, Cyndi, is an author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. The Kanes have 4 children.

Office of Chief Justice

Marshal Shari Schooley 405-556-9100
Executive Assistant to the Chief Justice Vickie Campbell 405-556-9100

Staff of Chief Justice Kane

Administrative Assistant Kinsey Hicks 405-556-9318

News Mentions

Oklahoma Bar Swearing-in Ceremony

May 7, 2024

Chief Justice Kane swore in new members to the Oklahoma Bar on April 23, 2024.  Welcome to the Bar!

Students visit the State Capitol

March 27, 2024

Chief Justice Kane lead a tour of the Supreme Court courtroom at the State Capitol on March 26th for students from Tishamingo, OK. 

Court and Chief Justice M. John Kane, IV Receive Award for Oral Arguments Posting

March 12, 2024

After a request from journalist Tres Savage of NonDoc, the Oklahoma Supreme Court made video recordings of past oral arguments available for the public on the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network website. The decision will give Oklahomans a better understanding about how their court system works and access to arguments in cases that have the potential […]

New Lawyers – Swearing-in

May 10, 2023

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Kane administered the oath of attorney to more than 50 new admittees during a ceremonyas the Supreme Court Courtroom inside of the Oklahoma State Capitol building.

OU College of Law – Mock Trial

April 19, 2023

Chief Justice Kane along with Justices Gurich and Kuehn participated in judging the final round of the OU College of Law first year mock trial competition. It was an honor to participate, and the Justices were impressed with the participants.

Chief Justice Visits with Students

April 7, 2023

On April 5th, Chief Justice Kane visited with students from Metro Christian Academy about the Supreme Court in the House Chamber.  

Swearing-In Ceremony

January 17, 2023

Chief Justice John Kane, IV was sworn in as Chief by Justice Darby. Chief Justice Kane is the great-grandson of a member of Oklahoma’s first Supreme Court: Chief Justice Matthew John Kane I, whose portrait hangs in the court. The Chief’s family was present for the ceremony.

Administration of Oath of Office

January 9, 2023

Chief Justice John Kane administered the oath of office to Governor Kevin Stitt on January 9, 2023.  The Chief Justice also sworn in all elected officials that day.  

Court Elects New Leadership 

November 14, 2022

Chief Justice Richard Darby announced this week that the Oklahoma Supreme Court elected M. John Kane, IV, to serve as Chief Justice for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2023. Dustin P. Rowe was elected to serve as Vice Chief Justice for the same biennium. Governor Kevin Stitt appointed Justice Kane to the state’s highest […]

Published Opinions

- Authored by Chief Justice M. John Kane IV

This list contains published opinions in which the Justice is the author of the majority opinion. This is not an exhaustive list of works by the Justice. Per Curium opinons, secondary writings and general orders are not included.

the gavel denotes service as Chief Justice.