Taghawaii

Stories about Hawaii

Hawaii governor appoints Eddins to state supreme court

Image of the Hawaii Supreme Court building in Honolulu.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) appointed Todd Eddins to the Hawaii Supreme Court on October 23, 2020. Pending confirmation from the Hawaii State Senate, Eddins will succeed Justice Richard W. Pollack, who retired on June 30, 2020, after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 years. Eddins is Ige’s first nominee to the five-member supreme court.

Under Hawaii law, state supreme court justices are selected through the assisted appointment method. The governor chooses an appointee from a list of candidates submitted by the judicial nominating commission. The nominee requires confirmation from the Hawaii State Senate.

Eddins became a judge of the O’ahu First Circuit of Hawaii in 2017 after being appointed by Gov. Ige on February 9. The Hawaii State Senate confirmed Eddins on March 3, 2017.

Before his appointment to the O’ahu First Circuit, Eddins worked as a trial lawyer for the Office of the Public Defender. He also served as a clerk for Justice Yoshimi Hayashi of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Eddins earned an undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from the University of Hawaii, where he was the executive editor of the University of Hawaii Law Review.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort. As of October 2020, three judges on the court were appointed by a Democratic governor, and one judge on the court was appointed by a Republican governor.

In 2020, there have been 22 supreme court vacancies in 16 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. One vacancy occurred when a chief justice died, and 21 vacancies were caused by retirements.

Additional reading:



Finalists for open Hawaii Supreme Court seat announced September 29, Gov. Ige to make selection by October 29

Hawaii’s judicial nominating commission published its list of four nominees for a state supreme court vacancy on September 29, 2020. The nominees are Judge Todd Eddins, David Forman, Judge Darolyn Lendio Heim, and Benjamin Lowenthal. Gov. David Ige (D) will appoint one of the four to the state supreme court with consent from the state Senate. Ige has 30 days to select his nominee after receiving the list.

The vacancy occurred when Justice Richard W. Pollack reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 years and retired on June 30, 2020. Pollack joined the court in 2012. His replacement will be the first nomination Gov. Ige makes to the five-member state supreme court. The most recent appointment to the court was made in 2014 by Ige’s predecessor, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D).

In Hawaii, state supreme court justices are chosen through the assisted appointment method. Under this appointment method, Hawaii’s judicial nominating committee recommends four to six potential nominees to the governor, who chooses a nominee from the list. The governor’s nominee requires confirmation from the Hawaii State Senate. Justices serve 10-year terms. If they wish to serve additional terms, they must stand for retention before the state judicial nominating commission. 

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia use the assisted appointment method for their courts of last resort. Seven states use gubernatorial or legislative appointments, 15 use nonpartisan elections, and six use partisan elections.

As of October 1, 2020, 21 state supreme court seats had been vacated in 2020, 10 vacancies had been filled, and 11 remained vacant.

Additional reading:
Assisted appointment (judicial selection)
Hawaii Supreme Court
Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission



Hawaii voters decide August 8 congressional primaries

The congressional primary election for Hawaii was held on August 8, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Candidates ran in elections for the following offices:

Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District:
• Incumbent Ed Case advanced unopposed from the Democratic primary. Ron Curtis advanced from the Republican primary. He received 40.9% of the vote; James Dickens and Nancy Olson were the only other candidates who earned more than 20% of the vote. Three race forecasters rate the general election as Safe/Solid Democratic.

• Nonpartisan candidate Calvin Griffin also appeared on the primary ballot. Hawaii election law requires nonpartisan candidates in partisan races to receive at least 10% of the votes cast for the office or to receive a vote total equal to or greater than the lowest vote total of a winning partisan candidate in order to advance to the general election. Griffin did not meet that threshold.

Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District:

• Joseph Akana advanced from the Republican primary. He earned 43.6% of the vote. Elise Hatsuko Kaneshiro was the only other candidate who earned more than 10% of the vote. In the Democratic primary, Kaiali’i Kahele advanced with 76.5% of the vote. The next-highest vote-getter was Brian Evans, who earned 9.4% of the vote. Incumbent Tulsi Gabbard (D) did not run for re-election. Three race forecasters rate the general election as Safe/Solid Democratic.

Entering the 2020 election, Hawaii’s U.S. congressional delegation has two Democratic senators and two Democratic representatives. The U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Only 33 out of 100 Senate seats are up for regular election, and two seats are up for special election this year. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 198 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Hawaii’s primary was the 38th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary was scheduled for August 11 in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Additional reading:


Hawaii voters decide state executive, legislative primaries

Image of several stickers with the words "I voted"

The statewide primary election for Hawaii took place on August 8. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3.

Candidates ran in elections for the following state offices:

Office of Hawaiian Affairs (four seats)

Incumbent Dan Ahuna won the election outright for Kaua’i and Ni’ihau Resident Trustee after receiving more than 50% of the vote in the primary. The other three races for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have advanced to the general election.

State Senate (13 seats)

All 11 incumbents who filed to run advanced to the general election.

State House (51 seats)

Three races remained uncalled as of August 12. Incumbent Romy Cachola was defeated in the Democratic primary by Ernesto Ganaden. Each incumbent who filed to run for re-election—with the exception of Cachola—advanced to the general election in the races that had been called.

Ballotpedia also covered local elections in the city of Honolulu. Honolulu is a consolidated city-county and is the 11th largest city by population in the United States.

Hawaii has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Additional reading:


Kahele wins Democratic nomination to succeed Gabbard in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District

Hawaii State Sen. Kaiali’i Kahele defeated Brian Evans, Brenda Lee, and Noelle Famera to win the Democratic nomination in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District Aug. 8. Kahele received 77% of the vote to Evans’ 9%, Lee’s 8%, and Famera’s 6%.

Kahele, who has served in the Hawaii state Senate since 2016, said his policy priorities were increasing funding for public education, expanding access to healthcare, and funding measures to respond to climate change.

Both Evans and Famera completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Evans, who was the Republican nominee for the seat in 2018 and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014, said he would focus on ending the disrespectful treatment of sacred land, increasing tax rates on foreign residents, and responding to medical errors.

Famera, a businesswoman with experience in insurance sales, said she supported a universal basic income program, a data rights bill, and funding measures to respond to climate change.

Incumbent Tulsi Gabbard (D), who was first elected in 2012, ran for president this year rather than seeking re-election. Gabbard won each general election in the 2nd District by a margin of 50 percentage points or greater, and election forecasters say the district is safely Democratic.



Hawaii to hold congressional primaries August 8

The statewide primary election for Hawaii is on August 8, 2020. The filing deadline to run passed on June 2. Voters will elect one candidate from each of the state’s two congressional districts to serve in the U.S. House.

Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Hawaii’s primary is the 38th statewide primary to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide primaries will be held on August 11 in the following states:
• Connecticut
• Minnesota
• Vermont

• Wisconsin



Hawaii voters to decide state executive and legislative primaries

The statewide primary election for Hawaii is on August 8, 2020. The filing deadline to run passed on June 2. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020. Candidates are running in elections for the following state offices:
Office of Hawaiian Affairs (four seats)
State Senate (13 seats)

State House (51 seats)

Ballotpedia will also be covering elections in Honolulu. Honolulu is a consolidated city-county and is the 11th largest city by population in the United States.

Hawaii has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Hawaii’s primary is the 38th statewide primary to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide primaries will be held on August 11 in the following states:
Connecticut
Minnesota
Vermont

Wisconsin

Additional reading:



Hawaii Supreme Court justice Pollack retires

Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack retired from the court July 2 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 years old. He served on the court for eight years after being nominated in August 2012.
Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald said about Pollack, “During his tenure on the Supreme Court, Justice Pollack was extraordinarily productive, authoring more than 150 opinions, all of which were meticulously researched and clearly written. He shaped the court’s jurisprudence in areas including public trust resources and the environment, criminal procedure, evidence, and public access to governmental proceedings.”
Hawaii Supreme Court justices are selected using the assisted appointment method in which the governor chooses from a list of four to six qualified candidates submitted by the judicial nominating commission. The Hawaii Senate then confirms the nominee. Judges serve ten-year terms on the court unless, like Pollack, they reach the mandatory retirement age before the end of their term.
Pollack’s replacement will be the first justice appointed by Hawaii Governor David Ige (D). Of the remaining four judges, Democratic governors appointed three and a Republican governor appointed one.


Hawaii state Senator Harimoto dies

Hawaii state Senator Breene Harimoto (D) died on June 18. He had represented District 16 in the Hawaii State Senate since 2014 and previously served on the Honolulu City Council from 2012 to 2014. Governor David Ige (D) has sixty days to appoint a replacement to represent Harimoto’s district in the chamber.

Harimoto’s death creates the only vacancy in the Hawaii state legislature. The partisan composition of the state Senate is currently 23 Democrats and one Republican in addition to Harimoto’s vacant seat. The Hawaii House of Representatives has 46 Democratic and five Republican members. Hawaii has had a Democratic state government trifecta since 2010, and the Democratic Party has held a majority in the state legislature since 1992.

Additional reading:



Hawaii governor extends travel restrictions for international and out-of-state travelers

On June 10, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) extended the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for those traveling to Hawaii from international or out-of-state locations through the end of July. Beginning June 16, the Hawaii National Guard will check passengers’ temperatures arriving through Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Each passenger will also need to have their travel verified and are required to sign a mandatory order for self-quarantine.

Governors or state agencies issued 21 executive orders placing restrictions on out-of-state visitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic. At least nine have been rescinded.



Bitnami