April 11, 2018

Hirono Introduces Ninth Circuit Nominee Mark Bennett During Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced former Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett during today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to consider his nomination to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

From Senator Hirono’s remarks:

“Mark has led a distinguished career both in private practice and in public service, and he is very well regarded in the Hawaii legal community

“Mark also served two terms as Hawaii’s Attorney General – and was unanimously confirmed for that position twice by the Hawaii State Senate.

“His unanimous confirmation came, in part, because of his commitment to follow the law wherever it took him, even if the outcome did not align with his personal views on a given issue.”

Senator Hirono and other Judiciary Committee members questioned Attorney General Bennett about his record as Hawaii’s attorney general, his past service as an Assistant United States Attorney, and his career in private practice. Mr. Bennett received a “well qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. He also received a “qualified” rating from the Hawaii State Bar Association—the highest rating given by the organization.

Mark Bennett is a director in the Honolulu firm Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, where he has practiced complex civil and appellate litigation and government relations since joining the firm in 2011. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Bennett spent almost eight years as the Attorney General of Hawaii, and was twice unanimously confirmed to that position by the Hawaii Senate. During his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Bennett successfully argued two cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and earned both the Department of Justice National Leadership Award and the Hawaii Law Enforcement Elwood J. McGuire Award for Contributions to Law Enforcement.

Before he was appointed Attorney General, Mr. Bennett spent a dozen years practicing complex civil and appellate litigation at the Honolulu firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Bennett spent seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii. During this period, he earned a Special Achievement Award from the Attorney General of the United States.

Shortly after graduating from law school, Mr. Bennett served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Samuel P. King of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Mr. Bennett has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hawai?i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law. Mr. Bennett earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from Union College, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Cornell Law School, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and served on the board of editors of the Cornell Law Review.