Yesterday, the Hawaii Senate unanimously confirmed Sabrina McKenna to the Hawaii Supreme Court. McKenna is the first openly gay person to be appointed to the court, and her appointment marks the first time that the five-member court will have two women sitting on the court. In another first, McKenna is the first graduate of the University of Hawaii’s law school to sit on the court.
McKenna was born in Japan and raised by a single mother after her father died when she was nine years old. McKenna served as a state district and circuit court judge for seventeen years before being elevated to Hawaii’s highest court. In the Honolulu Star Advertiser (article linked to above), McKenna is quoted as saying, “I feel like I’m living a dream, an American dream, that it is possible to come from humble beginnings and achieve the highest heights.”
Congratulations, Justice McKenna!