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State of Hawaii

History of Reform Efforts: Hawaii

Formal Changes Since Inception

1959
Under Hawaii's original constitution, judges were appointed by the governor with senate confirmation. Supreme court justices were appointed to seven-year terms and circuit court judges to six-year terms. A mandatory retirement age of 70 was established. Judges could be removed by a two-thirds vote of each legislative house sitting in joint session or could be retired by the governor after inquiry and recommendation by a board.

1968
Terms of supreme court and circuit court judges increased to ten years. Legislative removal of judges abolished.

1978
Intermediate court of appeals and judicial selection commission created. The power to discipline, remove, and retire judges was transferred to the supreme court, which established the commission on judicial conduct in 1979.