Hawaii State Bar questions judicial nomination

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Public officials are defending a Hawaii County lawyer after the Hawaii State Bar Association deemed her unqualified to be a district judge.

West Hawaii Today reports the Bar Association questioned deputy corporation counsel Margaret Masunaga's legal knowledge, professional experience and ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.

There was a lot of testimony in support of Masunaga in person and in writing at a confirmation hearing. Support came from U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, retired District Court Judge Joseph Florendo, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and about 40 more people.

A state Senate panel was sympathetic as it listened to testimony for about an hour. The panel plans to make a decision Wednesday and then the full Senate would vote on judicial confirmations Thursday.

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