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Governor gets 6 names for Supreme Court vacancy

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 3:31 p.m. HST, Jan 27, 2014

Four state judges, the state Public Defender and a private attorney are the six candidates for the upcoming vacancy on the Hawaii Supreme Court with the retirement of Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, the state Judicial Selection Commission announced this morning.

Under the state Constitution, Gov. Neil Abercrombie must replace Acoba with one of the six names submitted to him by the commission.

The six are:

- Circuit Judge Derrick Chan

- Circuit Judge Richard Perkins

- Circuit Judge Michael Wilson

- Chief Judge Craig Nakamura of the Intermediate Court of Appeals

- State Public Defender Jack Tonaki

- Honolulu attorney Jeffrey Crabtree.

The commission said it selected the names from 16 applicants, 14 men and two women.

Nine were judges and five were private attorneys, the panel said.

Abercrombie's nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

The appointment will be the governor's third on the five-member high court.

His two other picks were circuit court judges - Sabrina McKenna and Richard Pollack.

The others on the high court are Acoba, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and Associate Justice Paula Nakayama.

Acoba is leaving the court because of the state Constitution's mandatory retirement provision for justices and judges at age 70.

Acoba turns 70 in March.

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