Governor Neil Abercrombie qualified this like "the most important decision" in his career.
"This appointment sets the course for the state and its legal direction for the next several years," he said. "I'm completely confident that Judge McKenna's appointment will be something I'm proud of for the rest of my life."
It still needs the confirmation by the senate but Senate Judiciary Chairman Clayton Hee said that McKenna “was eminently qualified.”
"I suspect that the Senate, on balance, would probably be supportive, but it may be premature at this point," he said.
He said as far as he knows, McKenna has a "very good reputation" in and out of the court system according to Star Advertiser.
The subject of her sexual orientation was not evoked during the ceremonies: "I would like to believe that because of my background and my life experiences, I bring sensitivity to those who may not have been born into a life of privilege, a sensitivity to those whose life circumstances make it difficult for them to conform with all of society's expectations," she said.
"I try to bring compassion to the court."
McKenna said that the importance to be the first openly gay member in the court could give "hope to people who feel that they cannot succeed" for a lot of reasons, including being gay.