In announcing Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry’s appointment, the governor stressed the need for more women in the judiciary.

Hawaii’s Solicitor General Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry was appointed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals on Thursday, making her the second woman and the second person overall that Gov. Josh Green has named to be a judge.

In addition to commending Guidry’s legal expertise, Green highlighted his administration’s effort to put more women on the judicial bench. In March he picked Michelle Drewyer to join the 2nd Circuit Court of Maui County.

“Women out there – we are two for two,” he said.

Solicitor General Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry, center, was joined by Attorney General Anne Lopez and Gov. Josh Green as she was announced as Green’s pick for the Intermediate Court of Appeals. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)

Guidry would fill a new slot created by law in 2022 rather than replacing a current judge on the ICA, which deals with cases involving appeals. She’ll need to gain Senate approval before officially starting her role. 

Former Gov. David Ige’s judicial appointees skewed heavily toward men, and in 2021, Ige’s own appointee for the ICA Dan Gluck was rejected by the Senate, owing largely to this dynamic.

Ige blamed the disparity in part on the fact that women represented a smaller portion of the applicant pool.

Things have changed. This current batch of ICA applicants was mostly women, as was the shortlist sent to Green by the Judicial Selection Committee.

“I am so honored to be nominated,” Guidry said during a press conference in the governor’s office. “I love appellate law and I have a deep commitment to public service work.”

Gender representation is an especially salient topic following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which pushed questions of reproductive rights back to individual states. Speaking after the governor, Attorney General Anne Lopez brought up this side of Guidry’s work, saying that Guidry has put in a lot of effort to strengthen these rights.

“The department of the Attorney General and myself personally are just excited and thrilled that one of our own has been nominated for such a prestigious position,” said Lopez.

That process will likely start next week, according to Green, saying that prior to the press conference he spoke with Sen. Karl Rhoads, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. After undergoing a confirmation hearing through that committee, the full 25-member Senate will vote on the nomination.

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