Governor nominates circuit judge to state Supreme Court

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Tuesday his nomination for associate justice to the state Supreme Court.

Judge Michael D. Wilson , 60, has served on the First Judicial Circuit since 2000, presiding over the felony trial calendar, drug court and mental health court. Previously, he was a chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources and Commission, commissioner for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission and executive director for the state Division of Consumer Advocacy.

The governor cited Wilson’s 30-year career in the practice of law and the judiciary. “Both on and off the bench, Judge Wilson is a well-respected leader,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “He brings a wealth of experience, having served as an attorney and Circuit Court judge. The Constitution and our kuleana responsibilities to it will be in good hands.”

Gov. Abercrombie said when he asked each candidate how they saw themselves in terms of their role as a justice, “Michael’s instantaneous reply was, ‘The Supreme Court is our public conscience.’ I agree fully and I’m confident that in bringing this point of view to the Supreme Court, it provides a solid philosophical foundation as a point of departure in facing his duties on the court. The constitution and our kuleana responsibilities to it will be in good hands with Michael David Wilson.”

A graduate of Kailua High School, Judge Wilson earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from the Antioch School of Law.

The governor officially nominated Judge Wilson on Sunday. This nomination will fill the upcoming vacancy when Associate Justice Simeon Acoba retires next month and is subject to state Senate confirmation.

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