Former attorney general, prosecutors nominated for federal judge
  • Friday, November 16, 2018
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Former attorney general, prosecutors nominated for federal judge


  • “I firmly believe that the Legislature has the constitutional authority to do this
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A former state Attorney General, a federal prosecutor and a private attorney are being recommended for a federal judgeship in Hawaii.

Sens. Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz recommended that President Barack Obama consider former Attorney General David Louie, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Otake and private attorney Clare Connors to replace Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway when she becomes a senior judge on Nov. 6. Senior judge status is a form of semi-retirement for federal judges, who are appointed for life.

Connors, Louie, and Otake were among those recommended by the Federal Judicial Selection Commission, created by the Hawaii lawmakers in March. The seven member commission reviewed more than 30 applications.

Louie, a University of California Berkley law school graduate, was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1977.  In 2011, Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Louie as state attorney general. He served until 2014.

Otake, an ‘Iolani School graduate, spent most of her legal career in criminal litigation as a prosecuting attorney. She began her career as a deputy prosecuting attorney for King County, Washington. She was a clerk for Hawaii State Supreme Court Justice Simeon Acoba, before returning to Washington to serve as an assistant U.S. Attorney for Washington State. In 2014, Otake became an assistant U.S. Attorney for Hawaii.

Connors, a Punahou School and Havard Law School graduate, is a trial attorney who began her legal career in 2001 as a clerk for federal Judge David Alan Ezra, then-chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. After her clerkship, she was admitted to the Department of Justice Honors program, where she worked as a trial attorney for the Tax Division. She also worked as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia before joining the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Hawaii. She is currently in private practice.

 Hirono and Schatz wrote in a letter to the President, “We arrived at these recommendations after creating a commission of distinguished members of the Hawaii bar and tasking them with receiving and screening applications.. From the applications the commission received, a short list of candidates was submitted to our offices for interviews. The commission’s review process coupled with our own interviews helped us identify individuals with outstanding qualifications who we believe would make excellent nominees to the court.”

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