Senate Takes Action on Two Judicial Appointments

The Hawai‘i State Senate in their second special session of 2021 took action Thursday on the two pending judicial appointments.  The first action that the Senate took was to approve the appointment of Leslie Maloian to the District Family Court of the First Circuit. Earlier in the day, Daniel Gluck notified the Senate of his intent to withdraw his name from the confirmation process. The Senate proceeded with a procedural vote to not advise and consent to his appointment.

Leslie Maloian Approved to First Circuit

Judge Maloian has been a Deputy Public Defender in Honolulu for the past 18 years. Prior to that, she worked for two years as an associate with the Law Office of Ellen Politano representing clients in family court cases, including divorce, restraining orders, alimony, child support, and paternity. From 1996 to 2001, Maloian served as a Deputy Public Guardian in Chicago, where she maintained a caseload of over 150 families and participated in daily bench trails, administrative hearings, and criminal proceedings. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from City University of New York (CUNY) –  Baruch College and graduated from the Valparaiso University School of Law.

“I want to thank Judge Maloian for submitting her name to be considered to serve the District Family Court of the First Circuit,” said Senator Karl Rhoads (District 13 – Dowsett Highlands, Pu‘unui, Nu‘uanu, Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Punchbowl, Palama, Liliha, Iwilei, Chinatown, and Downtown), chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary. “I’m confident that she will be a great addition to the bench and wish her the best of luck in this new role.”

Daniel Gluck Notifies Senate of Intent to Withdraw

Daniel Gluck notified the Senate on Thursday of his intent to withdraw his name from the confirmation process. The Senate proceeded with a procedural vote to not advise and consent to his appointment.

Given the Senate’s action and pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution, the Governor shall make another appointment from the list that was transmitted to the Governor from the Judicial Selection Commission on June 9, 2021 within ten days.


“I commend Mr. Gluck for his willingness to step forward and be considered by the Senate for this vacant position on the ICA,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (District 8 – Kauaʻi and Niʻihau). “Despite the outcome, Dan’s professionalism and the way he conducted himself throughout this entire nomination process is commendable. We anticipate that the Governor will send down another nominee for our consideration in the coming days and we will begin the vetting process once a nominee is chosen.”


The Second Special Session of 2021 has been extended and will reconvene at a later date, subject to the call of the Senate President.  

Governor David Ige responded to the news saying, “I appreciate Mr. Gluck’s willingness to serve our communities and know that he will continue to be a voice for the underserved, no matter what his formal position. While the Senate came to a different conclusion about his appointment, I respect the process. I will be sending another name to the Senate within the time frame required by the State Constitution.”

The Hawai‘i State Senate’s rejection of the appointment of Daniel Gluck to the Intermediate Court of Appeals means that Gov. David Ige has ten calendar days or until Aug. 8 to make another selection from the list of the remaining five nominees submitted to him by the Judicial Selection Commission.


The remaining five nominees are:

  • Lance D. Collins has been an attorney in private practice on Maui since 2005. Previously, he was an instructor for the Legal Clerk Certificate Program, Office of Continuing Education at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, and a lecturer with the Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature Department (Ilokano), University of Hawai‘i. Collins earned his A.A. from then Maui Community College and his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Hawai‘i before receiving his J.D. from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law in 2004. He also earned a Ph.D. from the University of Hawai‘i in 2010.
  • Summer M. M. Kupau-Odo is a District Court judge of the First Circuit, having served since 2018. Previously, she was co-litigation director/staff attorney for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, an associate attorney/senior associate attorney for Earthjustice, a deputy public defender for the State of Hawai‘i and a law clerk for the Hon. Simeon R. Acoba, Jr., Hawai‘i State Supreme Court. Kupau-Odo attended Maui Community College, earned a B.A. in English from Pepperdine University and her J.D. from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law.
  • Sonja M.P. McCullen is currently a deputy prosecuting attorney for the City and County of Honolulu. Her previous positions include — investigator with the Crime Victim Compensation Commission, a staff attorney with the United Public Workers union, a judicial education specialist, and law clerk for the Hon. Paula A. Nakayama, Hawai‘i State Supreme Court. McCullen is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i. She earned her J.D. from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law.
  • Malia E. Schreck has been an attorney in private practice since she graduated from law school in 2005. She also teaches a Pre-Trial Litigation seminar at the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law. Schreck earned a B.S. in policy analysis and Master of Public Administration from Cornell University.
  • Taryn R. Tomasa Gifford is a deputy public defender with the Office of the Public Defender, Appellate Division. Tomasa Gifford also served as a public defender in the Trials Division. In addition, she was an associate attorney in private practice and a law clerk for the Hon. John S. W. Lim, Intermediate Court of Appeals. Tomasa Gifford earned a B.A. in history from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and her J.D. from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law.

The public is welcome to submit comments on any of the nominees on the governor’s website at: 

Daniel M. Gluck also commented on his withdrawal with the following statement:

“I spoke with Governor Ige and Senate President Kouchi to convey my wish to withdraw my appointment to the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”).  However, if I withdrew, it would have created confusion as to how the next appointment would be made.  My understanding, therefore, is that the Senate had to proceed with a vote.

“Opponents of my appointment, particularly members of the Bar, were courageous in voicing their deeply rooted, legitimate grievances regarding the ways in which systemic racism and inequality permeate our lives.  They are correct that it is not easy to oppose a judicial nominee.  They are correct that every one of us has an obligation to do more to right historic injustice.

“During the Judiciary Committee hearing on my appointment, I stated that I wanted to follow the appointment process set forth in the Constitution.  Yet I hope that, by indicating my desire to withdraw from this process, today’s vote can be less divisive for the Senate and Hawai‘i as a whole.  The community deserves judges who bring all of us closer rather than fracturing us further.  The other nominees on the list have extraordinarily impressive credentials; any one of them can, and will, serve the ICA with distinction. 

“I applied to be a judge because I wanted to serve the people of Hawai‘i:  to try to promote justice and equity in the islands I call home.  I continue to believe that I have the skills, experience, temperament, and character to resolve cases thoroughly, fairly, quickly, and justly.  I am humbled, beyond measure, by the testimony from colleagues, friends, judges, and community members – even those opposed to my appointment – attesting to my qualifications.  I was and am honored, more than words can express, that the Governor selected me from such an esteemed list of nominees.  I am deeply saddened that I cannot serve as an ICA judge.  I am sincerely grateful, however, that – through this process – our legislators have indicated their unwavering support for social justice.  I look forward to seeing concrete next steps from our policymakers towards these ends, and I hope I can be of assistance in these efforts.

“I offer my sincere thanks to the Judicial Selection Commission, the Hawai‘i State Bar Association, and the Governor for their trust in me; to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate as a whole for considering my appointment; to my family; and to everyone who testified – both in support and in opposition.  I hope I can continue to serve this community for many years to come.”

Senator Jarrett Keohokalole (District 24 – Kāne‘ohe, MCBH, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Ahuimanu), Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s action to not advise and consent to the appointment of Daniel Gluck to the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA):

“I want to acknolwedge Mr. Gluck for his professionalism and willingness to be fully considered by the Senate during this appointment process. Mr. Gluck’s intent to withdraw his appointment to the ICA should be commended as it displays his understanding and commitment to our community in seeking greater diversity on the higher courts. The people of Hawaiʻi have made it clear what qualities they would like to see in a potential nominee to the ICA and  I urge the Governor to take their voices into consideration as he deliberates on his next appointment.”

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