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Governor nominates Pollack to Hawaii Supreme Court

    Richard Pollack

Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed this afternoon Circuit Judge Richard Pollack to a 10-year term to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

The governor named Pollack from a list of five candidates submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.

“I am confident that the core values of the Constitution and the core values of Hawaii are well met in Judge Pollack,” the governor said.

Pollack served as the state public defender for 13 years before former Gov. Benjamin Cayetano appointed him to the Circuit Court bench in 2000.

Abercrombie said Pollack has “an extraordinarily deep and impressive record” that also includes teaching at the University of Hawaii law school, serving as a substitute judge on the state appeals court and writing numerous legal articles.

“The judge is known as a judge’s judge,” the governor said.

Pollack, 61,  thanked the governor for having confidence in him.  He called the appointment “an unparalleled honor.”

“It is deeply gratifying to be nominated to our state’s highest court whose decisions can have such a beneficial effect on the lives of our island people,” Pollack said.

The position on the state’s highest court pays $151,118 a year.

The new justice would replace James Duffy, who turned 70 this week, the mandatory retirement age for justices and judges under the state constitution. Duffy’s last day in office was May 31.

The appointment is Abercrombie’s second to the five-member court.

Last year, he appointed Sabrina McKenna to the court. Abercrombie also will name a third justice when Associate Justice Simeon Acoba must retire when he turns 70 in 2014.

The appointment is subject to senate confirmation, but if the senate doesn’t act within 30 days, the appointment will become effective, according to the Hawaii constitution.

The other four candidates were David M. Forman, interim director of the University of Hawaii law school’s environmental law program, and three judges; Derrick Chan, 56, chief judge of Oahu’s circuit court; Dan Foley, 65, the longest-serving state appeals court judge; and Craig Nakamura, 55, state appeals court chief judge.

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