The state senate confirmed Richard W. Pollack as an associate justice for the Hawaii Supreme Court Friday in a special legislative session.
Pollack, 61, was Gov. Neil Abercrombie's nominee to the high court. Pollack served as a Circuit Court judge and taught at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law for decades.
Pollack was also a public defender and a staunch protector of the State Constitution. He told a senate committee that the State Constitution offers Hawaii residents protection not offered on the federal level.
Pollack was confirmed with ayes from 24 senators. Sen. Sam Slom voted aye with reservations. No one voted against Pollack. Sen. Maile Shimabukuro was excused from the vote.
The new Supreme Court judge will serve for a term of 10 years.
Pollack fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James E. Duffy Jr.
"We are confident that Justice Pollack will serve the Supreme Court well with his extensive experience as a judge in the Circuit Court," said Senate President Shan Tsutsui. "We believe he will uphold our state constitution and work to ensure that the laws are applied fairly, equally and appropriately for all the people of Hawaii."
"Judge Richard Pollack will be a valuable asset to the Hawaii Supreme Court. His compassion, integrity and knowledge of the law will guide him in service to the people of Hawaii. I am honored to have Chaired his confirmation," said Clayton Hee, Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor.
Peter T. Cahill was also confirmed as a Circuit Court judge of the Second Circuit, located on Maui, by the senate. There were 24 ayes and none against the confirmation. Sen. Maile Shimabukuro was excused from the vote.
Cahill filled the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Shackley F. Raffetto.
"Judge Cahill possesses the professional experience, exceptional legal skills, and even temperament inherent of a good jurist. I believe that the people of Maui will be well-served under his judgeship," said Senator Roz Baker, who represents South and West Maui.
"Judge Cahill’s even-keeled temperament, intellect, and commitment to leadership are characteristics that will make him an asset to the State’s Second Circuit Court and to the people of Maui," said Senator J. Kalani English, who represents Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.
Cahill currently serves as an attorney at Cahill & O'Neill on the island of Maui, concentrating on injury and wrongful death cases. Prior to his employment at Cahill & O'Neill, he worked as a lawyer at Krueger & Cahill and the Law Office of James Krueger.
Cahill earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
We will have video from the confirmation tonight on KITV4 News at 5, 6 and 10.