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Senate sets day to consider Recktenwald appointment

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The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled for Wednesday its hearing on Gov. Linda Lingle’s appointment of Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald as chief justice.

The full Senate is scheduled to vote on the appointment on Sept. 2.

Lingle appointed Recktenwald last Friday to a 10-year term, a week after the Senate rejected her first nominee, appeals Judge Katherine Leonard.

The Senate rejection came after the Hawaii State Bar Association’s board of directors voted Leonard "unqualified" for the job.

The bar association is conducting the same type of review for Recktenwald. It notified its 4,600 members that they could submit comments on the appointment. The bar association’s board is set to meet with the nominee and vote Monday.

After the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the committee is scheduled to make its recommendation on the appointment to the full Senate on Sept. 1.

Moon, chief justice for 17 years, must retire before he turns 70 on Sept. 4 because of the state mandatory retirement law for justices and judges. He will leave office Aug. 31, the Judiciary said.

Paula Nakayama, the associate justice with the most seniority on the five-member court, would serve as the acting chief justice until the new chief justice is sworn in.

If his appointment is confirmed, Recktenwald, 54, would become the state’s fifth chief justice.


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