President Donald Trump has nominated former Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett to the Hawaii seat of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bennett served as attorney general for eight years under Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, from 2003 to 2011, and then joined the firm Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, where he has practiced complex civil and appellate litigation and government relations.
Bennett also spent seven years as an assistant U. S. attorney for Hawaii, and spent a dozen years practicing at the Honolulu law firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP.
Bennett has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law. He earned his law degree from Cornell Law School.
Bennett’s appointment won high praise from U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, which may bode well for his chances for confirmation in the U.S. Senate.
“Attorney General Bennett has extensive experience practicing law in the public and private sectors in Hawaii and at the federal level,” Hirono said in a written statement. “Mark is a well-qualified nominee to serve on the Ninth Circuit.”
Schatz added that “Mark Bennett has a long and distinguished career as a lawyer and public servant in Hawaii that makes him well-qualified to serve as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“With more than two decades of public service, Mark has a reputation as a highly competent, principled attorney – something I saw first-hand when he served as Attorney General. I am confident that he will be a fair, dispassionate jurist who will carefully follow the rule of law while reflecting Hawaii’s values,” Schatz said.