WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono and Senator Brian Schatz announced their recommendation to the White House of three Hawaii residents for consideration to fill the open U.S. District Court Judgeship for the District of Hawaii following Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s transition to a senior judge on November 6, 2015.
The candidates, Clare Connors, David Louie, and Jill Otake, who are listed in alphabetical order in the letter, were among those recommended by the Federal Judicial Selection Commission created by Senator Hirono and Senator Schatz in March. The Federal Judicial Selection Commission, which included seven members, three appointed by each Senator and a chair jointly agreed upon, reviewed more than 30 applications.
Senator Hirono and Senator Schatz wrote in a letter to the President, “We arrived at these recommendations after creating a commission of distinguished members of the Hawaii bar and tasking them with receiving and screening applications.. From the applications the commission received, a short list of candidates was submitted to our offices for interviews. The commission’s review process coupled with our own interviews helped us identify individuals with outstanding qualifications who we believe would make excellent nominees to the court.”
“It has been an honor to serve as Chair of this prestigious commission,” said Louise Ing, Chair of the Federal Judicial Commission. “We took the selection of Hawaii’s next Federal District Court nominee very seriously and we are pleased with the qualifications and diverse backgrounds of the final candidates. The Federal Judicial Selection Commission will proudly stand behind the eventual nominee for Federal District Judge to represent our state and replace Judge Susan Mollway.”
View a copy of letter sent to the White House here and read the full text below.
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We submit our recommendations for candidates to fill a vacancy on the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.
We arrived at these recommendations after creating a commission of distinguished members of the Hawaii bar and tasking them with receiving and screening applications. From the applications the commission received, a short list of candidates was submitted to our offices for interviews. The commission’s review process coupled with our own interviews helped us identify individuals with outstanding qualifications who we believe would make excellent nominees to the court. We respectfully request that you consider nominating one of the following candidates, listed in alphabetical order:
Clare Connors is a trial attorney who began her legal career in 2001 with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2002, she served as a clerk for the Honorable Judge David Ezra, in his capacity as a federal district court judge. She returned to Hawaii to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney, and eventually moved over to civil litigation. She continues to practice law in Hawaii.
David Louie was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1977. He has practiced exclusively in Hawaii, focusing mainly on civil litigation. In 2011, Mr. Louie was appointed as the Attorney General for the State of Hawaii, a capacity in which he served through 2014. During his time as Attorney General, Mr. Louie provided legal counsel for all aspects of state government.
Jill Otake has spent most of her legal career in criminal litigation as a prosecuting attorney. She began her career as a deputy prosecuting attorney for King County, Washington. She had the opportunity as well to clerk for Hawaii State Supreme Court Justice Simeon Acoba before returning to Washington to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for Washington State. In 2014, Ms. Otake became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for Hawaii, and has served in that capacity since.
Also enclosed with this letter are application materials for each candidate that the commission and our offices reviewed in the process of making our selection. We would be pleased to respond to any questions you may have or provide any other information necessary to aid you in your review.
Thank you for your consideration of our nominees.
Mazie K. Hirono
United States Senator
United States Senator