HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige has ordered that all state offices, agencies and the Hawaii National Guard to fly flags of the United States and State of Hawaii at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Aug. 8 to honor the late former Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Moon. In addition, the State of Hawaii’s Supreme Court will hold a special session the same day to honor former Chief Justice Moon.
“Former Chief Justice Moon served the State of Hawaii with honor and distinction,” said Gov. Ige. “During his many years on the bench, he led by example and worked hard to instill trust in the state’s justice system. The award-winning programs he created years ago continue to be models for judicial systems across the country. What I will always remember about Chief Justice Moon, however, is his sense of humor and his lighter side, in addition to the very serious work he accomplished.”
Moon passed away on July 4, 2022. Before his retirement in 2010, Moon served as Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court for more than 17 years. He was the first Korean American to become the chief justice of a state supreme court. Prior to that, he was a circuit court judge, then an associate justice of the state Supreme Court, serving a total of 28 years on the bench.
In a release sent out by the Hawaii State Judiciary the day after Moon’s passing, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald said, “The judiciary has lost a legend. Chief Justice Moon was a visionary leader and trailblazer in the legal profession. But he never forgot his roots growing up in Wahiawa, and wanted every person to be treated fairly and with respect when they came into our courtrooms.”
The innovative programs that began under Chief Justice Moon’s leadership and still continue, include the drug court, mental health court and girls court programs, as well as a certification program for court interpreters. He also received many awards and recognitions during his tenure. The family court complex in Kapolei that opened in 2010, bears his name.
Sarah Yamanaka covers events, environmental and community news for Spectrum News Hawaii.