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Native Hawaiian Judge nominated to federal court

Shanlyn A.S. Park has been nominated to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) announced on Wednesday.

If confirmed, Park will become the only Native Hawaiian woman to serve on the federal bench.

Park was among a number of candidates recommended by the senators and a merit-based Federal Judicial Selection Commission, reported the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“With decades of experience practicing law in Hawai‘i — including nearly two decades as a public defender — Judge Shanlyn A.S. Park has shown herself to be fair, impartial, and well suited to serve as a federal judge,” the senators stated.

Since 2021, Park has served as a state court judge on the First Circuit Court on Oahu, Hawaii. Before then, she worked at the Honolulu law firms McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon, L.L.P. and Gallagher Kane Amai & Reyes, according to the official website of the White House.

The graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law also previously spent twenty years as an assistant federal public defender in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Hawaii.

Park’s nomination comes as part of President Joe Biden’s campaign pushing to add diversity to federal courts. In addition to Park, the latest new nominees include Muslim American Mustafa Kasubhai, a magistrate judge, and Jamel Semper, a Black federal prosecutor, to serve as federal judges in Oregon and New Jersey respectively.

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