HONOLULU — A white man chosen by Hawaii’s governor to be an appeals court judge said he wanted to withdraw his name from the confirmation process Thursday after complaints that someone with a different racial background or gender should be selected instead.
Critics have questioned Democratic Gov. David Ige’s choice of Daniel Gluck, the executive director of the Hawaii Ethics Commission, noting it’s been 30 years since a Native Hawaiian was appointed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals and 20 years since a Native Hawaiian was appointed to the state Supreme Court.
The House Native Hawaiian Caucus sent a letter to Ige last week that said there are “no native Hawaiian, Filipino, Pacific Islander, or African American judges at the Supreme Court or the ICA.”
Others have questioned Gluck’s legal experience given he hasn’t brought as many cases to trial as other potential nominees put forward by the state Judicial Selection Commission.
After a five-hour long hearing Tuesday, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary voted Wednesday not to recommend the Senate consent to appointing Gluck.
On Thursday, Gluck notified the Senate of his intent to withdraw his name from the confirmation process. But doing so would have created confusion over how the next appointment would be made, he said in a statement released by the governor’s office.
In light of that, the Senate went ahead and voted not to consent to his appointment, which will allow the governor to make another appointment from the five remaining nominees on a list submitted to him by the commission.
“Opponents of my appointment, particularly members of the Bar, were courageous in voicing their deeply rooted, legitimate grievances regarding the ways in which systemic racism and inequality permeate our lives,” Gluck’s statement said.
Gluck’s supporters noted his keen legal mind, his dedication to social justice and his fairness.
“Despite the outcome, Dan’s professionalism and the way he conducted himself throughout this entire nomination process is commendable,” Senate President Ronald Kouchi said.
Ige has until Aug. 8 to make another selection.