Attorney General Clare Connors easily cleared a confirmation vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning.

Connors, a former attorney at Davis Levin Livingston, had support from the rest of Gov. David Ige’s cabinet members and several Honolulu law firms.

Ige named Connors as the state’s top attorney in January. She now faces a confirmation vote in the full Senate.

Attorney General Clare Connors announces suspension of Keith Kaneshiro.
Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors was supported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said she wants Connors to pay more attention to some departments that don’t feel well represented and others that have talked about finding their own legal counsel separate from the AG’s office.

Sen. Karl Rhoads, who chairs the committee, asked Connors about her reasoning in joining a lawsuit in February against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a wall on the Mexican border.

Connors said she considers legal issues and how a federal action impacts Hawaii.

She was recently involved in another high-profile case involving embattled Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.

In February, Connors asked the state Supreme Court to take away Kaneshiro’s law license. He’s since taken a leave from office.

Connors had no reason to fear for her job going into Wednesday’s committee. That differs from Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda, who lacks the support of a key Senate committee chair.

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