AFJ Letter of Support for Shanlyn Park

Support Letter


The Honorable Richard Durbin
Senate Judiciary Committee

Dear Chairman Durbin:

On behalf of the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association representing more than 150 public interest and civil rights organizations, I write to express our strong support the confirmation of Judge Shanlyn A.S. Park to the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. If confirmed, Park would become the only Native Hawaiian woman on the federal bench.

Judge Park earned her B.A from Chaminade University of Honolulu and her J.D from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii. After law school, Judge Park served as a law clerk to the Honorable Francis I. Yamashita, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Hawaii. After clerking, Judge Park worked as an associate at Hisaka Stone & Goto. Her work involved a variety of civil matters, including commercial disputes and insurance defense cases.

Over decades of experience practicing law in Hawaii—including nearly two decades as a public defender—and in her time on Hawaii’s First Circuit in Oahu, Judge Park has shown herself to be fair, impartial, and well suited to serve as a federal judge. While an Assistant Federal Public Defender and Senior Litigator at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Hawaii, Park represented indigent federal criminal defendants charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses, trying 10 misdemeanor and 10 felony jury trials to verdict. Judge Park also brought and argued multiple cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Following her time in the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Judge Park returned to private practice as a partner at McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP but maintained her dedication to public service. From 2017 to 2021, Judge Park volunteered as an attorney for the state judiciary’s Access to Justice Commission. In 2021, she was named to and began serving on the U.S District Court for the District of Hawaii’s Criminal Justice Panel, a continuation of her work in public defense. Judge Park earned special recognition from the District Court for her pro bono work in 2021.

Judge Park will bring excellent credentials and both professional and demographic diversity to the federal bench. Given her remarkable qualifications, we urge the Senate to confirm Judge Park to the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii expeditiously.


Rakim Brooks
President, Alliance for Justice