STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2725

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2420

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 2420 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE VI, SECTION 3, OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII TO AMEND THE TIMEFRAME TO RENEW THE TERM OF OFFICE OF A JUSTICE OR JUDGE AND REQUIRE CONSENT OF THE SENATE FOR A JUSTICE OR JUDGE TO RENEW A TERM OF OFFICE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to propose a constitutional amendment to amend the timeframe to renew the term of office of a justice or judge and require consent of the Senate for a justice or judge to renew a term of office.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from one individual. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Judiciary; Office of the Public Defender; Hawaii State Bar Association; West Hawaii Bar Association; Kauai Bar Association; Hawaii County Bar Association; Hawaii Women Lawyers; American Judicature Society; Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO; William S. Richardson School of Law Student Bar Association; and twenty-eight individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from fifteen individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that the Hawaii State Constitution requires every justice or judge to petition the Judicial Selection Commission to be retained in office. Retention proceedings, like all of the Judicial Selection Commission's proceedings, are kept secret by the Commission and all information considered by the Commission are not disclosed. If the Judicial Selection Commission determines that the justice or judge should be retained, the Judicial Selection Commission is authorized by the state constitution to renew the justice's or judge's term. Unlike the original appointment of a justice or judge, Senate consent is not required for a justice's or judge's term renewal. Therefore, only the Senate confirmation process of a justice's or judge's initial appointment is open to public scrutiny.

 

This measure proposes a constitutional amendment to authorize the Senate, rather than the Judicial Selection Commission, to renew a justice's or judge's term while retaining the Judicial Selection Commission's constitutionally mandated responsibility to determine whether a justice or judge should be retained in office and providing the Judicial Selection Commission six months to make its determination then immediately provide written notice to the Senate of an approval for retention. The Senate would need to hold a public hearing within ninety days; otherwise, the Judicial Selection Commission's determination would take effect.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2420 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,

 

 

 

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GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair