State Senate mulls Char’s judicial appointment

HONOLULU — The state Senate is scheduled to convene a special session Wednesday to review Gov. David Ige’s appointment for a vacancy on the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald’s appointment of Stephanie Char to the District Family Court of the Fifth Circuit (Kaua‘i).

Hawai‘i Supreme Court Associate Justice Richard Pollack retired in June after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. The special session will consider Ige’s appointment of First Circuit Court Judge Todd Eddins to fill the vacancy. The Senate will also consider Recktenwald’s appointment of state Deputy Public Defender Char to fill a new District Family Court judge position in the Fifth Circuit (Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.

The process will begin with a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, chaired by Sen. Karl Rhoads, with Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole as vice chair, today, beginning at 1 p.m.

The Senate welcomes live remote public testimony via videoconference, as the Capitol building remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Members of the public who wish to testify via videoconference should use the Legislature’s website, capitol.hawaii.gov, to submit their written testimony and select “yes” when asked if they will be testifying remotely for the hearing. Written testimony is required to participate via videoconference and must be submitted at least 24 hours before the hearing.

The Senate will convene in a floor session on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. This will be followed by a separate decision-making meeting of the Judiciary Committee at 10:30 a.m. Final Senate votes on the appointments are expected on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 11:30 a.m.

To allow access to the proceedings while the Capitol building is closed to the public, the Senate will live stream all Senate hearings and floor sessions over the internet. Selected proceedings will also be broadcasted on ‘Olelo and Ho‘ike Kaua‘i Community Television.

The public is encouraged to participate by submitting written testimony or testifying remotely. No in-person testimony will be allowed at this time due to COVID-19.

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