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Public gets to vet judicial hopefuls


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 24, 2012

~~<p>The names of four current judges and a law professor from which Gov. Neil Abercrombie can choose the next justice for Hawaii's Supreme Court has been released to the public, though not by the governor. It was the Judicial Selection Commission that made this important disclosure of its nominee finalists after amending its rules &mdash; laudably for the public's benefit. Until a recent lawsuit forced the openness issue, Abercrombie had maintained that the list disclosure would have a &quot;chilling effect&quot; on future potential prospects, an unconvincing excuse for secrecy.</p>
<p>Abercrombie's hostility toward openness of the judicial selection process was most puzzling, especially coming from the liberal former congressman. He chose to keep secret the list of the commission's finalist candidates from which he could choose circuit and higher state judges in January of last year. He criticized his acting director of the Office of Information Practices for embracing transparency, then soon after, replaced her as head of the office.</p>
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The names of four current judges and a law professor from which Gov. Neil Abercrombie can choose the next justice for Hawaii's Supreme Court has been released to the public, though not by the governor. It was the Judicial Selection Commission that made this important disclosure of its nominee finalists after amending its rules — laudably for the public's benefit. Until a recent lawsuit forced the openness issue, Abercrombie had maintained that the list disclosure would have a "chilling effect" on future potential prospects, an unconvincing excuse for secrecy.

Abercrombie's hostility toward openness of the judicial selection process was most puzzling, especially coming from the liberal former congressman. He chose to keep secret the list of the commission's finalist candidates from which he could choose circuit and higher state judges in January of last year. He criticized his acting director of the Office of Information Practices for embracing transparency, then soon after, replaced her as head of the office. Login for more...



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