Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Ed Kubo confirmed despite substantial objections
by Larry Geller
U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo’s campaign (see photo in this Advertiser breaking news story) succeeded this morning as the Senate confirmed him as a Circuit Court judge. The vote was 24 to 1.
The article didn’t delve into all of the controversies that could have derailed Kubo’s approval, mentioning only:
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.
There’s more, as was revealed in Senator Les Ihara’s floor speech, reproduced here in its entirety:
Sen. Les Ihara, Jr. Floor Speech on Ed Kubo Judicial Confirmation • February 3, 2010
Madame President. I rise in opposition to G.M. 109.
I would like to first acknowledge the outstanding service Mr. Kubo has provided to our nation and state as the former Hawaii U.S. Attorney. I particularly appreciate his extensive involvement in our community, and I wish him well if he is confirmed today.
Madame President, I was not so troubled by the non-disclosure issues that have been discussed, but I believe a fundamental value in our system of democracy is the respect of law. And in the judiciary branch of government there is no higher value than the respect of law.
I believe the nominee failed to demonstrate respect for the law in an incident that occurred in his judicial confirmation process. I believe his actions were inadvertent, but since he indicates they were intentional…I must respectfully disagree.
During his confirmation hearing, the nominee responded to testimony opposing his confirmation by recounting his role as the testifier’s employer and in the process revealed that the testifying employee was under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist.
When asked if revealing this medical information was proper, the nominee stated that – it was appropriate because the Judiciary Committee is the trier of fact and judging the credibility of the testifier’s accusations was relevant to understand his accuser’s state of mind. The nominee further explained the medical information was also public knowledge he heard from other U.S. Attorneys outside the office.
Madame President, in this state we have a constitutional right to privacy and state laws that prohibit employers from revealing medical information without the employee’s consent. And the nominee has acknowledged he was not aware of any waiver of the employee’s right to privacy, implied or otherwise.
Even if the accusations against the nominee were false, I believe this does not justify revealing private medical information that only the employer, employee and his doctors knew was true.
Even if the medical information was public knowledge because it came from reliable sources, it was the employer – the nominee, and no one else, who confirmed the information as fact.
But let's say Mr. Kubo's justification was valid, and he relayed only public knowledge that his critic had received certain medical care. I believe it would be inappropriate for other judicial nominees to share public knowledge to share the state of mind of a critic even if that information was reliable but unsubstantiated – that his critic was under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist.
I believe the nominee did not provide due respect to the law in revealing private medical information to defend himself during his confirmation hearing.
I understand the quandary he might feel this situation poses. He told me his statements might have been in-artful, but he claims it was appropriate to reveal the employee’s private medical information.
This incident happened in the course of seeking approval for his own judicial nomination, and I believe the nominee’s actions are unbecoming of a judge for the State of Hawaii.
For these reasons, I must fulfill my constitutional duty by opposing the confirmation of the nominee.
Thank you Madame President.
Unfortunately, no other senators were disturbed by the extent the appointee would go to discredit testimony against his nomination.
I appreciate Les' sensitivity, but Ed Kubo is not intelligent enough to be a judge, independent of the fact that he lacks a judicial temperament or common sense... I don't know if this process, though is better or worse than electing judges. What is the other alternative?
That's my problem with him too - I can remember his support of the founder of Sister offering Support - and his outrageous repeating of the lie of there being 'thousands' of sexually abused children in Hawaii. operating as sex workers - he took this info from the paper - a message that was merely a repeat lie from the leader of SOS....so he strikes me as a poor judge of facts and the community he lives in. Two necessary qualities needed in judicial judgement, and review. I am disturbed that this man is supposed to make decisions about other people's lives.
Thanks, Les. I am disappointed that Mr. Kubo's was nominated and approved as a judge. Last year his wife, Tammy Kubo, was one of an advisory committee that approved Governor Lingle's action of Israeli War Criminal, Tizpi Livni, speaking at the International Womens Conference on Sept. 22, 2009.The Governor's office and Mrs. Kubo ignored the concern of Hawaii citizens who requested the recinding of the invitation to Livni. England's government responded appropriately by issuing an arrest for Former Israeli Foreign Minister Livni if she came to England. Why didn't Hawai'i do the same? Livni was a part of the Israeli Gov. that ordered actions that massacred 1400 Gazan civilians in Dec.2009-Jan.2009. Inhumane conditions continue in Gaza.
Isn't this what Hawaii appreciates, perpetrates and promotes? Judge Kubo only demonstrated his community spirit and political aplomb, by sabotaging someone's standing in the community, by using thier private medical information to further his own standing. This has long been acceptable, either from like-minded individuals, or those to dense or afraid to say otherwise. More indicative of this is the comment - "The nominee further explained the medical information was also public knowledge he heard from other U.S. Attorneys outside the office."
Yes. I am anther one of those who know the actual facts about Kubo whose integrity and the level of intelligence are both highly questionable. But then again he is the epitome of the corrupted State of Hawaiʻi, so what can we say. The whole thing (the state of Hawaii) has to be radically transformed or should be thrown into a recycling bin.