Gov. David Ige has 30 days to make his first appointment to the state Supreme Court, a decision that could impact the legal bent of the five-member panel for the next decade.

Ige will choose from a list of four candidates sent to him by the Judicial Selection Commission to replace former Associate Justice Richard Pollack, who retired in June. 

Deedy Trial Hawaii Supreme Court Otake addresses justices. 2 feb 2016
Gov. David Ige will choose his first Supreme Court nominee from a list of four candidates. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2017

The candidates are 1st Circuit Court Judge Todd Eddins; David Forman, director of the Environmental Law Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law; Darolyn Heim, a Honolulu District Court judge; and Benjamin Lowenthal; a deputy public defender and columnist on Maui.

The governor’s office wants the public to submit input on the candidates at the governor’s website.

Ige has 30 days to choose a nominee, and the Senate has 30 days after that to vet the nominee and put them to a vote by the 25-member chamber.

Senators will be back at the State Capitol starting Thursday to consider appointments to the Intermediate Court of Appeals and several District Court positions. 

However, the Senate will likely wait until after the Nov. 3 election to convene a special session to consider the high court nominee as well as a family court judge for Kauai, according to Senate Judiciary Chair Karl Rhoads.

Something to consider...

Civil Beat is a small, independent newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.

The truth is that less than 2% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible gift today?

About the Author