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Senate confirms Watson as U.S. District Court judge in Hawaii

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:21 a.m. HST, Apr 18, 2013

The U.S. Senate today confirmed the appointment of Derrick Kahala Watson to the federal bench in Hawaii.

Watson has served since 2007 as assistant U.S. attorney in Hawaii. A 1984 graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Watson will be the sole Native Hawaiian serving on the federal bench and only the fourth in U.S. history. 

The confirmation was welcomed by Hawaii's Congressional delegation.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono said: “Derrick Watson’s confirmation today recognizes his eminent qualifications to serve Hawaii and our nation from the federal bench.

"Beyond his legal acumen, he brings sorely needed diversity and cultural perspective to the federal bench as the sole Native Hawaiian currently serving.”

Sen. Brian Schatz said Watson's "leadership and wealth of experience as a long-time attorney has made him a proven leader for the people of Hawaii.”

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said she is "proud that President Obama has reflected our state’s diversity and rich heritage with this nomination, and continued his support of women and minorities.”

And U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, Watson "has dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice and fairness in our legal system. I am proud to welcome this Kamehameha Schools graduate to serve in such a prestigious capacity.”

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