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Lingle receives list of nominees for state Supreme Court chief justice


Gov. Linda Lingle has received a list of six nominees for chief justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court and has 30 days to make her selection.

The nominees, chosen by the state Judicial Selection Commission, are Supreme Court Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald; Craig Nakamura, chief judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals; appellate judges Daniel Foley and Katherine Leonard; and Circuit Judges Bert Ayabe and Richard Pollack.

The governor must chose the state’s next chief justice from the six names to fill the vacancy when Chief Justice Ronald Moon must step down before he turns age 70 on Sept. 4 because of the mandatory retirement law for state judges.

Recktenwald is considered by some court observers to be the favorite to be picked by Lingle, but she will be seeking comments from the public until July 12 on all six nominees.   

A former member of the governor’s Cabinet as the director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Recktenwald was named by Lingle as the chief judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals in 2007 and as an associate justice to the five-member high court last year.

The appointment, which is subject to Senate confirmation, would be for a 10-year term.

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