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.