Update: Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna has been appointed by Governor Abercrombie as an Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.
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At noon Hawaii Standard Time on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, we'll be live blogging Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie's announcement of his choice to be the next Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court. This seat was vacated by Justice Mark Recktenwald when he was appointed as the Chief Justice by Governor Lingle.
Our Damon Key colleague Rebecca Copeland will be in the room covering the announcement.
This is Governor Abercrombie's first appointment to the court. Breaking from past tradition, he has not publicly announced the list of candidates transmitted to him from the Judicial Selection Commission, so this really will be a surprise announcement. See Ian Lind's critique here.
Under Hawaii law, the appointment is subject to confirmation by the Hawaii Senate. As we recently witnessed when the Senate failed to confirm Governor Lingle's appointment of Judge Katherine Leonard as Chief Justice, Senate approval is not necessarily a "done deal." However, now that we have a Democratic Governor and an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate, we don't have much doubt that it will be smooth sailing for Abercrombie's appointment.