Story from State Senator Sam Slom’s Kuliouou NHB Report #2 – Sept. 2, 2010
The State Senate confirmed Mark E. Recktenwald as Hawaii’s newest Chief Justice to the Hawaii State Supreme Court on September 2. He succeeds Ronald Moon who retires this month upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.
The full Senate also confirmed Blaine J. Kobayashi to the District Court of the Second Circuit for the County of Maui.
Both nominees appeared before the Senate Judiciary and Government Operations (JGO) committee on August 25 of which I am a member. The JGO committee voted unanimously to advise and consent to Recktenwald’s confirmation on Sept. 1.
The full Senate approved his confirmation by a 22—0 vote. Continue reading
By State Senator Sam Slom
Senate floor speech in support of the nominee on September 2:
“What could we ask of Mark Recktenwald that has not been asked in previous hearings? What could he tell us that he would do that he hasn’t done; first, in the U.S. Attorney’s office, then as the head of the struggling Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, next on to the Intermediate Court of Appeals, and now currently on the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i.
“You can look at the measure of a man from his educational background, and it’s superior; from his experience, and it’s superior; from his writing ability, and it’s superior. But more importantly than all of that is his relationship with other individuals; and as was said by the Judiciary Chairman, he had unanimous support for this position. And among those that came to testify were people that had come up against him or who he had ruled against in a court of law, but they still have respect for this man because of his fairness, because of his equality. And so, you’ve had individuals that have known him from the legal profession, the business profession, and also from the community, where he is a leader, he is a volunteer. He’s outstanding.
“I think that the nomination of Judge Recktenwald at this time represents the right man at the right time for the right job. We know that he will not disappoint us. We know that he will do exactly what he has said he will do because we have a long and distinguished career track record to view that by. I think that we can safely say that Judge Recktenwald as Chief Justice will be a beacon for true judicial reform in the State of Hawai‘i. And as he also stated, his passion is for expansion of alternative dispute resolution, something that will touch everyone in the community, will make justice access more easily accessible to more people, and to bring more fairness and equity to our state.
“So, I wholeheartedly endorse the confirmation of Mr. Recktenwald, and urge my colleagues to give unanimous support. And, as a special favor to the good senator from Kahuluu, Madam President, I will not ask for or seek a Roll Call vote. Thank you.”