Monday, March 2, 2015

Associated Press

HONOLULU -- A state judge has ordered Gov. Neil Abercrombie to disclose the names of candidates for judicial appointments.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser had sued the governor's office under the state open records law for the list of names.

Abercrombie's office has argued that releasing the names would hamper attracting applicants to the bench.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled in the case on Monday.

Abercrombie has not disclosed the names of four to six candidates on the list submitted to him by the state Judicial Selection Commission when he appointed Sabrina McKenna to the Hawaii Supreme Court this year.

The newspaper is pleased with Sakamoto's decision and feels the public is entitled to know the candidate names, said Star-Advertiser vice president and editor Frank Bridgewater.

"The more informed the public is, and the more open government is, the better," Bridgewater said.

Deputy Attorney General Charleen Aina said she does not yet know if the state will appeal the decision.

Attorney General David Louie said Monday the state is reviewing the ruling.

"Obviously, we are disappointed with Circuit Court's oral ruling today. Once we receive the court's written order and have the opportunity to thoroughly review it and consider other relevant factors, we will decide how to respond," Louie said.

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