As it prepares for two vacancies on the five-member Hawaii Supreme Court, the state Judicial Selection Commission released its list of 13 applicants eligible for consideration by the governor and the Senate. 

The commission also requested written public comment on the process, although deliberations will remain confidential. It announced in October that it was seeking applications.

The two justices stepping down were not specified, but speculation has centered on Michael Wilson and Paula Nakayama due to a requirement that justices must retire by age 70.

The governor is responsible for nominating justices but must choose from a list of applicants already vetted by the Judicial Selection Commission. The Senate must then approve nominees.

The names of the contenders for the two associate justice positions were released based on a new rule that took effect on March 16, 2022. Previously the selection commission was prohibited from identifying applicants for judicial positions, according to a press release.

Four of them currently sit on the Intermediate Court of Appeals: Chief Judge Lisa M. Ginoza, Sonja M. P. McCullen, Karen T. Nakasone and Clyde J. Wadsworth.

Summer M. M. Kupau-Odo is a District Court of the First Circuit judge, Rebecca A. Copeland is District Family Judge on the First Circuit, and Catherine H. Remigio is a Circuit Court judge. Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry is Hawaii’s current solicitor general.

David M. Forman is co-director of the University of Hawaii Manoa’s environmental law program in its William S. Richardson School of Law.

The remaining four work in private practice — Vladimir Devens, Kendra K. Kawai, Thomas Yamachika and Deidre Marie-Iha.

Public comments about these applicants need to be postmarked or faxed to the Judicial Selection Commission Chair Nadine Y. Ando no later than March 13.

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