Senate approves Kubo as judge
The state Senate voted this morning to confirm former U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo as a Circuit Court judge.
The vote was 24 to 1.
The Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee had deadlocked on Kubo's nomination last week, jeopardizing his confirmation.
But the committee's chairman, state Sen. Brian Taniguchi, D-10th (Manoa, McCully), dropped his opposition yesterday and decided to vote with reservations to confirm Kubo.
Kubo, a Republican, was nominated by Gov. Linda Lingle.
Kubo's nomination received widespread support in the legal and political communities. But several senators were concerned that Kubo did not disclose cases where he was criticized as a prosecutor on his application with the state Judicial Selection Commission.
Taniguchi said after speaking with Kubo privately yesterday that Kubo gave adequate answers to the disclosure issue. He said today that he wanted to give Kubo a chance.
"It seems like cooler heads have prevailed," said state Sen. Sam Slom, R-8th (Kahala, Hawaii Kai), one of Kubo's strongest supporters.
Kubo, speaking to reporters afterward, said the process was fair.
"This is a quest to find the best person they can find to serve our state and our communities," he said. "I'm just very thankful, not only for being considered by the governor and by the Senate, I am very appreciative for all the people and everything that they've done in stepping forward.
"All those many phone calls, e-mails, letters, and just waving to me from the street with words of encouragement, bopping their horns. It's very, very touching for me."