Chief Justice Moon's last day at work

Supreme Court of Hawaii
Supreme Court of Hawaii

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - He helped shape Hawaii's legal landscape over the years. Now, Chief Justice Ronald Moon is ready to retire.

Justice Moon had a full schedule on his final day, but he still found time to say goodbye.

"I'm going to miss the people, the people most of all. It may be corny to say that we have an ohana, but it is true" said Moon.

Chief Justice Moon has led Hawaii's highest court for 17 years. There have been many high-profile cases during his tenure. In April, the court ruled that a new environmental study was needed for development at Turtle Bay. Another controversial decision halted Superferry service last year, and in 2008 the chief justice wrote the unanimous opinion preventing the sale of ceded lands until the claims of Native Hawaiians have been resolved.

Now, he must decide what he'll do during his retirement. He plans to travel, spend time with family and explore new hobbies.

"I'm gonna look at golf, for one thing. And I've committed to my family that I will be off for six months, a long summer vacation."

The Senate will vote on a possible successor this Thursday. The chief justice declined to comment on Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald, but instead offered this advice.

"I will say that if the person is able to understand that the failure could occur if you try to appease everybody. This is not a job that you can do that."

Chief Justice Moon says he'll let others determine his legacy.

"It's heartwarming to hear their expressions of thanks and good job and so forth but I thank them for everything that they've done."

Moon will reach the mandatory retirement age for judges soon. His 70th birthday is this Saturday.

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