Maui News

Mayor Arakawa to Speak at Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference

August 8, 2012, 3:19 PM HST
* Updated August 9, 5:38 AM
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Hoapili Hale, Maui judiciary and court building. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa will offer opening remarks at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, taking place on Maui on August 13 to 16, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa.

The conference is being held despite controversy earlier this year in which US Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama criticized Ninth Circuit’s selection of Maui as the location for the conference.  The criticism alleged that it looked like more of a “vacation instead of a business trip” and referenced Maui as a “far-flung island paradise.”

“I am grateful for the chance to speak before conference attendees to tell them that I am glad they stuck to their guns and came to Maui,” said Mayor Arakawa in a statement this afternoon. “We are honored to have them here and know that they will have a very successful conference,” he said.

In response to criticisms of Maui by Grassley and Sessions, Mayor Arakawa described it as playing “political games.”

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“Senators Sessions and Grassley know very well that we conduct year-round business conferences of all types here on Maui,” Arakawa said. “They include conferences on engineering, space surveillance and even micro and nanotechnology in medicine.  Their lack of knowledge belittles the hard work the people of Maui do to host these conferences,” he said.

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Mayor Arakawa also expressed gratitude that for the first time, high ranking Ninth Circuit judges will be meeting with members of the Maui County Bar Association.

Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy and Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United State Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit are among those scheduled to speak with local attorneys.

“These judges represent the pinnacle of the practice of law in the United States,” said Arakawa. “By allowing our local attorneys access to them this conference is doing a great service for our community,” he said.

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