Glenn Kim deserved Senate confirmation
The state Senate has confirmed the nomination of Glenn Kim to be a circuit judge.
PERHAPS the most impressive resume ever presented by a Hawaii judicial nominee was accepted by the state Senate following a confirmation process that was both puzzling and unseemly. Doubts that were raised about Glenn Kim's nomination
to the circuit bench in Honolulu paled against his academic record and his praise by peers. No concrete evidence against his nomination was presented, and he deserved the acceptance he won in the final vote.
A Bronze Star recipient during the Vietnam War, Kim was a Phi Beta Kappa English graduate of the University of Hawaii, earned master's and doctorate degrees in English and American Literature from Harvard and was valedictorian at the UH law school in 1992. A deputy city prosecutor since 1993, he gained high praise from colleagues -- both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys.
The puzzler was the Hawaii Bar Association's "qualified," rather than "highly qualified," assessment of Kim for the bench. Jeff Portnoy, the bar's president, attributed it to "a small number of comments that were critical" and are kept confidential.
The unseemliness was Senate Judiciary Chairman Clayton Hee's embrace of two female former deputy city prosecutors who accused Kim of being disrespectful of women. Kim had given one, who accused him of having "a broken moral compass," a poor job evaluation and put her on the slow track to Circuit Court duty. The other may have had a personality conflict with Kim.
Jennifer Salvador Kehe, another former deputy prosecutor, wrote to the committee that some colleagues "mistook his straightforwardness and firm approach as vicious and mean-spirited." Numerous other female prosecutors praised Kim for his bluntness, a trait shared by many of the state's best judges.
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