Schatz Introduces Hawai‘i Nominees To U.S. District Court Micah Smith And Judge Shanlyn Park At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today helped introduce Micah Smith and Judge Shanlyn Park to the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing to consider their nominations to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.
“They have the legal acumen as well as the character and temperament required to fulfill the duties of U.S. District Court judges. It’s for these reasons that I’m proud to support their nominations to the federal bench,” said Senator Schatz.
Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Graham, members of the committee: I’m proud to support the nominations of Micah Smith and Judge Shanlyn Park to serve as judges on the U.S. District Court in Hawai‘i. Both of them are exceptionally qualified and I appreciate the opportunity to help introduce them to this committee.
Micah Smith’s story is a quintessentially American one. The son of an immigrant, he grew up in a housing project on Kaua‘i attending public schools before going to Lock Haven University where he graduated with top honors and later to Harvard Law School.
For the past 11 years, he has served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, first in the renowned Southern District of New York and more recently in the District of Hawai‘i where he serves as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.
Those who know him often highlight his abiding sense of fairness and balanced temperament. A colleague noted, “he listens and considers carefully before voicing his opinion,” adding that he has “an unwavering commitment to achieve a better system of justice that provides access to justice for all.”
That same commitment to equal justice underpinned Judge Shanlyn Park’s two decades as a public defender giving voice to those most in need. A graduate of the University of Hawai‘i’s Richardson School of Law, she represented low-income defendants on a variety of complex cases, earning a reputation among colleagues and opposing counsel alike as a highly-skilled, compassionate, and solutions-oriented attorney. And she has brought her integrity and sound judgement to the bench since becoming a state court judge in 2021.
In supporting her nomination, a former boss remarked, “the law is more than a job for Shanlyn,” calling her “a great ambassador for the law.”
Judge Park’s credentials are impressive by any measure. But the historic nature of her nomination should not be lost on anyone. If confirmed, she would be the first Native Hawaiian woman to serve on the federal bench.
They have the legal acumen as well as the character and temperament required to fulfill the duties of U.S. District Court judges. It’s for these reasons that I’m proud to support their nominations to the federal bench. Thank you.