East Hawaii News

Michael Wilson Appointed to Hawaii Supreme Court

February 18, 2014, 4:26 PM HST
* Updated February 19, 9:44 AM
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie today appointed a man of many hats to the state Supreme Court.

Michael Wilson, a judge with Oahu’s First Circuit Court since 2000, will replace Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 next month.

Wilson’s 10-year appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate.

Wilson, 60, has served in a variety of roles, including as a member of the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission.

In 1992, Wilson, a former president of the environmental group Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, was named director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

If confirmed, he will be the second justice with background in serving in the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald previously served as director of the DCCA, and Wilson at one time was executive director of the department’s Division of Consumer Advocacy.

Wilson is a graduate of Kailua High School on Oahu. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington DC.

“Both on and off the bench, Judge Wilson is a well-respected leader,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience, having served as an attorney and Circuit Court judge. The Constitution and our kuleana responsibilities to it will be in good hands.”

“I am very grateful and humbled for being placed as a candidate by the Judicial Selection Commission and honored by the governor’s appointment,” Wilson said.

Wilson is Abercrombie’s third nominee to the state’s highest court, which has five members. Recktenwald and Sabrina McKenna are the others.

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Wilson was selected from a list of names submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.

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The others on the list were Circuit Judge Derrick Chan, Circuit Judge Richard Perkins, Chief Judge Craig Nakamura of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, State Public Defender Jack Tonaki and Honolulu attorney Jeffrey Crabtree.

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