Friday, November 27, 2015         

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Board designates judge qualified

By Ken Kobayashi


The Hawaii State Bar Association board of directors voted yesterday to find Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald qualified to be the next state chief justice.

The association notified its members about the vote, but as part of its policy did not disclose the vote count, according to bar association President Hugh Jones.

The 20-member board met with Recktenwald yesterday afternoon and then voted on his appointment by Gov. Linda Lingle to replace Chief Justice Ronald Moon. Moon's last day in office is next Tuesday.

The board found Lingle's first appointment, appeals Judge Katherine Leonard, to be "unqualified" for the chief justice position earlier this month.

Following the board's vote, the Senate rejected her appointment. Lingle later named Recktenwald to be the state's fifth chief justice.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has a hearing scheduled for tomorrow on Recktenwald's appointment. The full Senate is scheduled to vote on the appointment on Sept. 2.

Moon is leaving office because of the state law that requires judges and justices to leave the bench by age 70. Moon turns 70 on Sept. 4.

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