Panel can keep judges for subsequent terms
Lingle cannot replace appointees whom the commission retains
The terms of Associate Justice Simeon Acoba of the Hawaii Supreme Court and 10 other state judges will expire before the end of Gov. Lingle's term.
But that does not mean the governor will get to replace them.
If the judges choose to seek another term, the state Judicial Selection Commission will decide whether they will be retained for 10-year terms.
Lingle would replace them if they choose not to seek retention or they get turned down by the commission for succeeding terms.
Acoba recently said he did not know whether he will leave the bench or apply with the commission for a second term.
Lingle would be able to appoint the replacement for Chief Justice Ronald Moon, who must leave the bench when he turns 70 on Sept. 10, 2010. The only way Moon could remain on the bench would be if the state Constitution is amended to lift the mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges. Lawmakers are considering a proposed amendment that would raise the age to 80.
The only other judge who holds a position subject to gubernatorial appointment who would have to retire at age 70 is Circuit Judge Michael Town. He turns 70 on Oct. 24, 2010.
Without commenting on the commission's inner workings, Rosemary Fazio, chairwoman of the commission, said in an interview recently that Lingle will be appointing the next chief justice from the panel's list unless the Constitution is amended.
She said the commission will probably send the names to the governor early in 2010 while the state Legislature is in session to avoid a special session to confirm her appointment.
Carlisle says he will again run for prosecutor
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle plans to run for a fourth four-year term this fall.
In view of Gov. Linda Lingle's appointments of judges with prosecutorial backgrounds, Carlisle's name as a potential candidate for chief justice has been raised. But Carlisle said in a recent interview that he has not considered the chief justice's position.
"The only thing I'm thinking about right now is running for prosecutor again this year," he said.
Carlisle has already been elected to the nonpartisan position for an unprecedented three terms. If elected, his term would expire in 2012.
Judges facing end of terms*
Judges whose 10-year terms end before Gov. Linda Lingle leaves office in December 2010, and when their terms end:
* Chief Justice Ronald Moon and Circuit Judge Michael Town must retire before Lingle leaves office because of the state Constitution provision mandating judges retire at age 70. Moon turns 70 on Sept. 4, 2010; Town, on Oct. 24, 2010.
Hawaii Supreme Court
Simeon Acoba (May 18, 2010)
Intermediate Court of Appeals
Dan Foley (Oct. 1, 2010)
Reynaldo Graulty (March 4, 2009)
Karen Ahn (May 9, 2010)
Michael Wilson (May 9, 2010)
Richard Pollack (May 9, 2010)
Karl Sakamoto (May 31, 2010)
Gary Chang (May 31, 2009)
Derrick Chan (Aug. 24, 2010)
Joseph Cardoza (June 23, 2009)
Ronald Ibarra (May 9, 2009)
Sources: State Judiciary, Hawaii State Bar Association directory