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Watson is confirmed as sole Native Hawaiian federal judge

April 20, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A Kamehameha Schools graduate will be the only Native Hawaiian judge serving on the federal bench and only the fourth in U.S. history.

The U.S. Senate confirmed on Thursday President Obama's nomination of Derrick Kahala Watson to serve as a U.S. District Court judge in Hawaii.

Hawaii's delegation in Washington noted the historic distinction. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said that Watson helps diversify the court.

Watson was originally nominated for the seat in November 2012 but didn't receive a confirmation vote in the last session of Congress. Obama renominated him this year.

He has been an assistant U.S. attorney for the Hawaii district since 2007. He's a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1984 graduate of Kamehameha Schools.

The current salary of a federal district court judge is $174,000.



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