There will now be two female and two male judges.

The Hawaii Senate voted Friday to confirm Michelle Drewyer to fill the vacancy in the 2nd Circuit Court of Maui County, according to a Senate news release.

Maui County locator map

The position was left vacant when Richard Bissen retired, who became mayor after winning election in November. Drewyer’s selection marks the first judicial appointment by Gov. Josh Green, according to the release. 

“Judge Drewyer was prepared and able to effectively communicate how her experience as a per diem judge and private practitioner will benefit her as a full-time judge,” Hawaii Sen. Karl Rhoads, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. 

Drewyer received her undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in 1986 and her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, in 1991. She began her legal career shortly after that on Maui as a prosecuting attorney, then transitioned to become a deputy public defender. After that, she spent 20 years in private practice. 

Her confirmation means that the Maui Circuit Court is now equally split between male and female judges. And if another one of Green’s recent appointments is confirmed — Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry to the Intermediate Court of Appeals — more than 50% of sitting judges and justices will be women for the first time in history, according to the news release.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation.

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