HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii State Senate on Friday confirmed Sonja McCullen to fill a judicial position on the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA), which was left vacant when Associate Judge Derrick H.M. Chan retired last October. Her term will last 10 years.
McCullen was appointed by Gov. David Ige on Aug. 6. The state Senate last month voted down Ige’s first choice for the position, a white man, amid complaints that it had been decades since a Native Hawaiian had been appointed to the state’s appeals or supreme courts.
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McCullen is Native Hawaiian and a Honolulu deputy prosecuting attorney, a role she has served in for a combined 11 years. She has also worked for the Crime Victim Commission and United Public Workers.
In addition, McCullen has served as a social studies, Hawaiian studies, and Hawaiian Language teacher at Waianae High School for five years.
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She earned a B.A. in Liberal and Hawaiian studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa before going on to earn her law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.