There will be a two-day Special Session of the Senate on August 5 and 6 to consider the appointment of James H. Ashford to fill a vacancy for Judge of the District Court of the First Circuit. A hearing that welcomes public input will be held the week prior.
If you’d like to contribute to the discussion, you’ll want to keep your eye open for the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor (JDL) hearing notice — they plan to hold a public hearing on Mr. Ashford’s appointment on Friday, August 2, at 12 noon. Details on how to offer testimony will appear on the hearing notice. You can find all current hearing notices on the Legislature’s home page, www.capitol.hawaii.gov. (It is likely that the hearing will be scheduled for broadcast — open the “Broadcasts” link on the lower right column of the Legislature’s homepage for schedule and webstreaming.)
Note: The Senate’s Special Session is called in accordance with the Hawaii State Constitution (Article III, Section 10) which states, in part: “At the written request of two-thirds of the members of the senate, the president of the senate shall convene the senate in special session for the purpose of carrying out its responsibility established by Section 3 of Article VI.” Accordingly, the Session’s focus will be restricted to the judicial appointment only.
Ashford was appointed by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald earlier this month. To learn more about the Senate’s advise and consent responsibility in the appointment of judges, you may want to read through Article VI, Section 3 of the Hawaii State Constitution: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol01_Ch0001-0042F/05-Const/CONST_0006-0003.htm.
Don’t hesitate to contact PAR (email@example.com or 808/587-0478) with any questions. We’ll be happy to try and help!