Supreme Court of Hawaii

The Supreme Court of Hawaii is the highest court of the State of Hawaii in the United States. Its decisions are binding on all other courts of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The principal purpose of the Supreme Court is to review the decisions of the trial courts in which appeals have been granted. Appeals are decided by the members of the Supreme Court based on written records and in some cases may grant oral arguments in the main Supreme Court chamber. Like its mainland United States counterparts, the Supreme Court does not take evidence and uses only evidence provided in previous trials.

The court meets in Aliʻiōlani Hale in Honolulu.

Hawaii Supreme Court
ʻAha Hoʻokolokolo Kiʻekiʻe o Hawaiʻi  (Hawaiian)
Seal of the Hawaii Supreme Court
LocationHonolulu, Hawaii
Composition methodGovernor nomination with Senate confirmation
Authorized byHaw. Const. art. VI, § 2.
Appeals toSupreme Court of the United States
Judge term length10 years
Number of positions5
WebsiteHawaii Supreme Court
Chief Justice
CurrentlyMark E. Recktenwald
SinceSeptember 14, 2010
Lead position endsSeptember 13, 2020
Aliʻiōlani Hale at midday
Aliʻiōlani Hale, the building where the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court meets
Hawai'i State Judiciary

Supreme Court
Intermediate Appeals Court
Circuit Courts
District Courts
Family Courts
Tax Appeal Court
Land Court


The Hawaii State Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to answer questions of law that have been passed to it from trial courts or the federal court, hear civil cases submitted to the Supreme Court on agreed statements of facts, and decide questions coming from proceedings of writs of mandamus, prohibition, and habeas corpus.[1]


The Supreme Court consists of five justices[2][3] who are initially appointed to ten-year terms by the Governor of Hawaii, who makes his or her nomination from a list of four to six candidates from the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission.[4] The Governor's nominee is subject to confirmation by the Hawaii State Senate.[5] Candidates must be U.S. citizens, Hawaii residents, and have been licensed to practice law for at least 10 years prior to nomination.[6] The Judicial Selection Commission can opt to retain incumbent justices for additional ten-year terms.[7] All justices must retire at 70 years of age.[8]

As of December 18, 2014, the five Justices are:[9]

Title Name Appointed by Served on court since Term expires
Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald Linda Lingle May 11, 2009 September 13, 2020
Justice Paula A. Nakayama John D. Waihee III April 22, 1993 April 21, 2023
Justice Sabrina McKenna Neil Abercrombie March 3, 2011 March 2, 2021
Justice Richard W. Pollack Neil Abercrombie August 6, 2012 August 5, 2022
Justice Michael D. Wilson Neil Abercrombie April 17, 2014 April 16, 2024

See also


  1. ^ Haw. Rev. Stat. § 602-5. Retrieved 2014 December 18.
  2. ^ Haw. Const. art. VI, § 2. Retrieved 2014 December 18.
  3. ^ Haw. Rev. Stat. § 602-1. Retrieved 2014 December 18.
  4. ^ Haw. Const. art. VI, § 3. Retrieved 2014 December 18.
  5. ^ Id.
  6. ^ Id.
  7. ^ Id.
  8. ^ Id.
  9. ^ Hawaii Supreme Court Justices, Hawaii State Judiciary. Retrieved 2014 December 18.

External links

Coordinates: 21°18′20″N 157°51′36″W / 21.305478°N 157.859974°W

Alexander Robertson

Alexander Robertson may refer to:

Alexander Robertson (artist) (1772–1841), Scottish-American artist and co-founder of Columbian Academy of Painting

Alexander Robertson (Canadian politician) (1838–1888), lawyer and politician from Ontario, Canada

Alexander Rocke Robertson (1841–1881), Canadian politician

Alexander Black Robertson (1847–?), politician from Ontario, Canada

Alexander D. Robertson (1849–1921), politician from Prince Edward Island, Canada

Eck Robertson (Alexander Robertson, 1887–1975), American fiddle player

Alex Robertson (Scottish footballer) (fl. 1902–1903), Scottish footballer

Alex Robertson (Australian rules footballer) (1887–1915), Australian rules footballer for University

Sir Alexander Robertson (police officer) (died 1970), British police officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, 1958–1961

Alexander Robertson (MP) (1779–1856), British Member of Parliament for Grampound

Alexander Robertson (chemist) (1896–1970), British chemist

Alexander Robertson (rugby union) (1848–1913), Scottish rugby union player

Alexander George Morison Robertson (1867–1947), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii

Alexander Robertson, the name of several chiefs of Clan Donnachaidh

Alexander Robertson & Sons, British boat building company

Sir Alexander Robetrtson (veterinarian) (1908–1990) Scottish veterinarian

Alexander Provan Robertson (1925–1995), Scottish mathematician

Alexander Cunningham Robertson (1816–1884), British general and amateur poet

Baehr v. Miike

Baehr v. Miike (originally Baehr v. Lewin) was a lawsuit in which three same-sex couples argued that Hawaii's prohibition of same-sex marriage violated the state constitution. Initiated in 1990, as the case moved through the state courts, the passage of an amendment to the state constitution in 1998 led to the dismissal of the case in 1999. Congressional Republicans used the possibility that the courts might invalidate Hawaii's marriage eligibility requirements, as appeared possible following the Supreme Court of Hawaii's 1993 decision in this case, as a reason for the enactment of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996. Dozens of statutes and constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions at the state level also followed Baehr.

Edward Nakamura

Edward H. Nakamura (October 9, 1922 – September 12, 1997) was a labor lawyer and judge. He served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii from March 24, 1980 to December 28, 1989.

Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals

The Hawaii State Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) is the intermediate appellate court of the Hawaii State Judiciary. It has jurisdiction over appeals from lower courts and agencies.The ICA is composed of one chief judge and five associate judges, who sit in randomly selected panels of three. Each judge is appointed to an initial ten-year term by the Governor. Judges are nominated by the Governor from a list of four to six names submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. A judge's nomination is subject to confirmation by the Hawaii Senate, but reappointments require only approval of the Judicial Selection Commission. Under article VI, §3 of the Hawaii Constitution, all judges of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, like the justices of the Supreme Court of Hawaii and the judges of the Hawaii State Circuit Courts, have a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Homer Baird Kidwell

Homer Baird Kidwell (October 20, 1911 – December 27, 2000) was an American lawyer. He worked as a corporate attorney in Los Angeles and Honolulu. From July 1, 1975 to February 28, 1979 he served as a justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

Jack Mizuha

Jack Hifuo Mizuha (November 5, 1913 – September 7, 1986) was an educator, soldier, and judge. He was a member of 442nd Infantry Regiment, and served as the Attorney General of Hawaii from 1958 to 1959, a Circuit Court judge from 1959 to 1961, and a Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii from 1961 to 1968. He was a Republican.

James H. Wakatsuki

James Hiroji Wakatsuki (August 1929 – September 22, 1992) was a Japanese American politician and a Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii from September 7, 1983 to September 22, 1992. His nickname was "The Opihi", after the well-known, difficult to move, mollusk.

James Leslie Coke

James Leslie Coke (August 31, 1875–August 12, 1957) was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii from January 13, 1917 to April 17, 1922, serving as Chief Justice from March 7, 1918 to April 17, 1922, and again from 1935 to 1941.

Kazuhisa Abe

Kazuhisa Abe (January 18, 1914–May 18, 1996) was a Democratic state senator and Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

List of Justices of the Supreme Court of Hawaii

Following is a list Justices of the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

Mark E. Recktenwald

Mark E. Recktenwald (born October 8, 1955) is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

Masaji Marumoto

Masaji Marumoto (Marumoto Masaji (丸本正二) January 27, 1906 – 1995) was the first Japanese American Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii. He served from 1956 to 1973. He was the first Japanese American to graduate from Harvard Law School, and the first Japanese American to serve as president of the Hawaii Bar Association.

Rhoda Valentine Lewis

Rhoda Valentine Lewis (August 31, 1906 – September 12, 1991) was the first female justice on the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

Richard W. Pollack

Richard W. Pollack (born July 2, 1950) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii. He was nominated by Governor Neil Abercrombie in 2012 to replace outgoing Justice James E. Duffy, Jr.. His nomination was approved in the Hawaii State Senate by a vote of 24–1, and he was appointed on August 6, 2012. He is eligible to serve until 2020, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Sabrina McKenna

Sabrina Shizue McKenna (born October 7, 1957) is a judge from the U.S. state of Hawaii. Since February 16, 2011, she has served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

Sidney M. Ballou

Sidney Miller Ballou (October 24, 1870 - October 29, 1929) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii from August 15, 1907 to May 6, 1909, and author of various pamphlets on scientific, naval, legal, and economic subjects. He compiled the civil and penal laws of Hawaii in 1897.Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Ballou attended the public schools of Boston and graduated from Harvard College in 1893, thereafter attending Harvard Law School. By 1895, he had moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. Ballou compiled the civic laws of Hawaii, and in 1907 was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, to succeed Alfred S. Hartwell, who had been elevated to Chief Justice of that court. Ballou resigned his judgeship in 1911 to resume the private practice of law, where he was retained as the representative of the American sugar companies in Hawaii, "a post as important as that of senator" due to the central importance of that industry to the territory.Ballou also represented Liliuokalani, former Queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii, in a claim against the United States. In addition to his legal practice, Ballou was "a recognized authority on naval affairs and has appeared before National Conventions to deliver addresses on the naval strength and defense of the Pacific".

Steven Levinson

Steven H. Levinson (born June 8, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii. Levinson served his first term from 1992 to 2002 and was retained by the Judicial Selection Commission to serve a second ten-year term. He retired from the court, effective December 31, 2008.

Wilfred Tsukiyama

Wilfred Chomatsu "Tsuky" Tsukiyama (築山長松) (March 22, 1897 – January 6, 1966) was an attorney, Territorial Senator, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii. He was the first Japanese American elected to the Territorial Senate of Hawaii, and the first to serve as a state Supreme Court Justice in the United States.

William Austin Whiting

William Austin Whiting (August 5, 1855 – January 18, 1908) was an American lawyer and politician of the Kingdom, Republic, and Territory of Hawaii. He served as Attorney General of Hawaii and was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii. During his college years, he was captain of the 1875 Harvard Crimson football team.

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