William G. Rickett declines Presidential appointment
The Palau Supreme Court will not be welcoming William G. Rickett as its newest associate judge. In a letter addressed to outgoing President Toribiong, approved Rickett expressed that despite the appointment being “the single greatest honor in his 26-year legal career,” moving halfway across the world to serve on Palau’s bench would be too difficult. Rickett also expressed time as another factor in his decision to decline the appointment noting that “perhaps taking more time to make [his] decision would persuade [him]” into accepting the nomination. In the letter, Ricket refers to the President as “facing a time deadline…before [his] term ends next month” and as such wanted to give the President more time to choose another qualified candidate.
Justice Alexander Foster’s resigned from the Court effective July 2012 leaving the Palau Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and three Associate Justices, all of whom are Palauan. Traditionally, there has been at least one American justice on the bench.
President elect Tommy Remengesau Jr. is inaugurated into office on January 15, 2013. With less than a month left until then, current President Toribiong is facing a deadline if he wants someone of his choosing in the Supreme Court, the highest court in Palau’s Judicial System.