APPOINTMENT OF JUSTICES AND JUDGES

 

Section 3. The governor, with the consent of the senate, shall fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, supreme court, intermediate appellate court and circuit courts, by appointing a person from a list of not less than four, and not more than six, nominees for the vacancy, presented to the governor by the judicial selection commission.

If the governor fails to make any appointment within thirty days of presentation, or within ten days of the senate's rejection of any previous appointment, the appointment shall be made by the judicial selection commission from the list with the consent of the senate. If the senate fails to reject any appointment within thirty days thereof, it shall be deemed to have given its consent to such appointment. If the senate shall reject any appointment, the governor shall make another appointment from the list within ten days thereof. The same appointment and consent procedure shall be followed until a valid appointment has been made, or failing this, the commission shall make the appointment from the list, without senate consent.

The chief justice, with the consent of the senate, shall fill a vacancy in the district courts by appointing a person from a list of not less than six nominees for the vacancy presented by the judicial selection commission. If the chief justice fails to make the appointment within thirty days of presentation, or within ten days of the senate's rejection of any previous appointment, the appointment shall be made by the judicial selection commission from the list with the consent of the senate. The senate shall hold a public hearing and vote on each appointment within thirty days of any appointment. If the senate fails to do so, the nomination shall be returned to the commission and the commission shall make the appointment from the list without senate consent. The chief justice shall appoint per diem district court judges as provided by law.

The judicial selection commission shall disclose to the public the list of nominees for each vacancy concurrently with the presentation of each list to the governor or the chief justice, as applicable.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT

Justices and judges shall be residents and citizens of the State and of the United States, and licensed to practice law by the supreme court. A justice of the supreme court, a judge of the intermediate appellate court and a judge of the circuit court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than ten years preceding nomination. A judge of the district court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than five years preceding nomination.

No justice or judge shall, during the term of office, engage in the practice of law, or run for or hold any other office or position of profit under the United States, the State or its political subdivisions.

TENURE; RETIREMENT

The term of office of justices and judges of the supreme court, intermediate appellate court and circuit courts shall be ten years. Judges of district courts shall hold office for the periods as provided by law. At least six months prior to the expiration of a justice's or judge's term of office, every justice and judge shall petition the judicial selection commission to be retained in office or shall inform the commission of an intention to retire. If the judicial selection commission determines that the justice or judge should be retained in office, the commission shall renew the term of office of the justice or judge for the period provided by this section or by law.

Justices and judges shall be retired upon attaining the age of seventy years. They shall be included in any retirement law of the State. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 2182 (1994) and SB 2294 (1994) and election Nov 8, 1994; am HB 1917 (2006) and election Nov 7, 2006; am HB 420 (2014) and election Nov 4, 2014]

 

Cross References

 

Circuit courts, see chapter 603.

Commission on salaries, see 26-56.

Compensation, see 602-2, 602-52, 603-5, and 604-2.5.

Practice of law prohibited, see 601-8.

Retirement allowance, see 88-74.

 

Attorney General Opinions

 

A justice of the supreme court whose term has expired may hold over until the justice's successor has been appointed, even beyond the adjournment of the senate considering successors. Att. Gen. Op. 67-6.

A member of the legislature who has been appointed to the circuit court but who has not yet qualified for the office is not yet holding judicial office. Att. Gen. Op. 80-2.

Any duly appointed district court judge may be temporarily assigned to preside on the circuit court by the chief justice of the supreme court. Att. Gen. Op. 88-8.

Where the judicial selection commission presented the chief justice with two lists of nominees for two district court vacancies on March 1, 2007, and the chief justice made the selections on April 2, 2007, under the plain language of this section, the chief justice's nominations were untimely and, thus, the appointments must be made by the judicial selection commission. Att. Gen. Op. 07-1.

 

Law Journals and Reviews

 

Politics, Merit and the Selection of Judges. 10 HBJ No. 13, at pg. 61.

Administering Justice or Just Administration: The Hawaii Supreme Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals. 14 UH L. Rev. 271.

The Life of the Law is Perpetuated in Righteousness: The Jurisprudence of William S. Richardson. 33 UH L. Rev. 99 (2010).

 

Case Notes

 

A judge who has made a public announcement of intention to seek public office is a candidate. 53 H. 496, 497 P.2d 549.

Exercise of testamentary power of appointment by justices not prohibited when there is no remuneration. 55 H. 104, 516 P.2d 1239.

Appointment as a district family judge does not qualify as being "licensed to practice law by the supreme court". 61 H. 112, 595 P.2d 1080.

1978 constitutional convention intended by implication that restrictive provision relating to practice of law applied only to full-time justices and judges, thereby excluding per diem judges from its proscription. Section 604-2, authorizing per diem judges to practice law, was not in violation of Hawaii constitution's provision prohibiting full-time judges from practicing law during their term of office. 74 H. 394, 846 P.2d 894.

No violation of section where circuit court judge assigned duties as administrative director of courts as newly-assigned duties were addition to existing responsibilities and not creation of additional office or position. 85 H. 258, 942 P.2d 522.

 

 

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