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Posted: Thursday, November 15th, 2012 8:54 AM HST

Obama picks Kamehameha graduate for federal bench

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) President Barack Obama has nominated a federal prosecutor and Native Hawaiian to serve as a U.S. District Court judge for Hawaii.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said Wednesday Derrick Kahala Watson would become the only Native Hawaiian judge in federal court if he's confirmed by the Senate.

Watson became an assistant U.S. attorney in Honolulu in 2007. He's been civil division chief for the past three years.

He's also been a federal prosecutor in Northern California and a partner at a San Francisco law firm.

Watson received bachelor's and law degrees from Harvard and is a 1984 graduate of Kamehameha Schools.

Sen. Daniel Inouye urged his colleagues to confirm Watson's nomination. He says Watson has consistently displayed exemplary legal acumen, integrity, and fairness during his decade as a federal prosecutor.

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