Political Radar


March 17th, 2014

The state Senate voted 23 to 1 on Monday to confirm Circuit Judge Michael Wilson as an associate justice on the state Supreme Court.

Wilson will replace Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Wilson, who has served on the Circuit Court since 2000, is a former director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the state's consumer advocate. He was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. His term on the Supreme Court is 10 years.

"I am humbled by and grateful for the consent of the Senate," Wilson told the Star-Advertiser after the vote. "(Senate) President (Donna Mercado) Kim and all the members of the Senate treated me with patience and kindness and fairness and due process. I'm especially grateful for the courage and the strength and the wisdom of chairman (Clayton) Hee throughout this process."

Hee, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, recommended that Wilson be confirmed.

Hee and other senators were critical of the Hawaii State Bar Association, which rated Wilson "unqualified" for the nomination.

Several senators called for changes in the process after Wilson was subjected to negative comments about his behavior toward women and work ethic that were made by confidential sources and never publicly substantiated.

Sen. Rosalyn Baker was the only senator to vote against Wilson's confirmation. She questioned whether Wilson was the best nominee for the state's highest court and cited confidential complaints made to her by women about Wilson's conduct.

6 Responses to “Confirmed”

  1. hossana:

    I, for one, support Sen. Baker in voting against Wilson. Unfortunately, these confidential complaints could not be made in person for fear of repercussions and I can't blame them. Only Wilson can answer to his own MAKER whether he has the character and fortitude to be on the highest court.

  2. Ella:

    I agree with Sen. Baker as well! If Mike Wilson thought that this confirmation process was long, arduous, and painful, it is nothing like the 10 coming years, and then the rest of his life are going to be with everyone watching closely for misbehavior. I am sure that the other justices are going to be scrutinizing MW's every glance. This appointment is going to keep the state's population entertained for a long while. Still, it is a sad day for all concerned.

  3. Johnson:

    I can only hope that he has evolved. Because there he is, sitting on the Supreme Court now.

  4. Marigold:

    Chosen by the Governor over the others because he was the First Lady's long time, close personal friend. The First Lady even testified about their friendship at the confirmation hearing. Politics as usual in Hawaii. The Hawaii State Bar was the easy target for the Senate to try and deflect the real problem in the process. Senator Roz Baker needs to be commended for standing up for what was right.

  5. Guido Sarducci:

    He is a liberal. Its OK for him to harass women. Maybe he will run for President one day.

  6. Especially Incognito:

    The balance of liberal and conservative is needed.
    Some think too much right and find
    they end up going in a circle. Chasing their tail.
    Right Father?

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