Recktenwald likely headed to the state's highest court


POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gov. Linda Lingle is going with a former Cabinet member to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.






Mark E. Recktenwald

        » Born: Detroit

» Age: 53


» Education: Harvard University, University of Chicago Law School


» Experience: Partner, Marr Jones & Wang; associate with Goodsill Anderson & Stifel; former investigator with U.S. Senate; Hawaii Legislature committee clerk; and United Press International reporter, Honolulu bureau


» Public service: Chief judge, Intermediate court of Appeals; director, state Commerce and Consumer Affairs; assistant U.S. attorney


Mark Recktenwald, 53, a former director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and chief judge of the state Intermediate Court of Appeals, was picked yesterday by Lingle for the Supreme Court.

The opening was created when Steven Levinson retired in December.

If Recktenwald is confirmed, it will open a vacancy on the intermediate appellate court.

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said Recktenwald should not be a controversial nominee, and she expects there will be little, if any, opposition to his Senate confirmation.

“;There is no question as far as Mark Recktenwald's competency is concerned. I don't hear anything negative. The only concern is the void he leaves to fill on the intermediate court,”; Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua) said.

Lingle noted that Recktenwald, since joining the intermediate court in 2007, has implemented a reorganization plan of the appellate court, has participated in 250 cases and has written 10 published opinions.

“;He has also worked to make the court more open, including instituting the practice of holding oral arguments on a regular monthly basis,”; Lingle said.

Lingle called her former department director a “;man of high moral character and a dedicated public servant.”;

“;He will bring a strong work ethic and a collaborative attitude to the bench,”; she said.

If Recktenwald is confirmed by the Senate, the judicial selection commission will send Lingle a list of six candidates to replace him on the intermediate court.

Next year, Lingle will have to name a replacement for Ronald Moon, who will be forced to retire when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Hanabusa speculated that Lingle “;enhances the speculation that she will name Recktenwald”; to the chief justice spot by putting him on the Supreme Court this year.