“I am disappointed for the people of Hawai‘i who have been denied by the Senate Majority the opportunity to have Judge Leonard as the head of the Supreme Court. However, I know Judge Leonard will continue to serve with distinction on the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
“It’s extremely sad that someone of Judge Leonard’s stature and legal expertise became a victim of bias that had no merit or basis.
“The 14 senators who voted down Judge Leonard’s confirmation represent the height of hypocrisy, given that earlier this year they all voted for a resolution calling on me to appoint more women to the bench. Yet, when given the opportunity to confirm my nomination of a woman who is eminently qualified to serve in the highest judicial position in the state, these senators revealed their true colors that their so-called resolution was purely for show.
“It’s also very telling that not one woman senator supported Judge Leonard’s confirmation, despite being so impassioned about getting more women on the bench.
“I commend Senators Espero, Gabbard, Galuteria, Green, Hemmings, Sakamoto, Slom and Tsutsui who recognized Judge Leonard was eminently qualified to be the next Chief Justice.
“Throughout this difficult confirmation process, Judge Leonard demonstrated her exceptional character. She was forthright, respectful and carried herself with dignity and integrity, despite being subjected to a double standard and unwarranted criticism by a handful of individuals.”