Next steps in West Virginia Supreme Court impeachments

West Virginia Headlines

The option of putting Supreme Court Justices on trial came after the State Senate rejected a deal on Tuesday that would have censured Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Beth Walker.

At issue is excessive spending by the court on millions of dollars in office renovations and décor at the Supreme Court complex.

Many in the House of Delegates believe a public reprimand instead of a trial could have saved taxpayers a lot of money. 

“You’re talking six weeks additional expense time and effort being spent by the State of West Virginia for something that could have gotten to the same result,” said Delegate Rodney Miller, (D-Boone).

There is also criticism that retired Justice Robin Davis is being put on trial, even though she stepped down from the court the day she was impeached by the House of Delegates.

“I think it’s a political circus. They’re wasting time, resources and really spending so much time on something that would otherwise be resolved. Now the Senate is wasting state resources just trying to come up with some political win to say oh we we’ve been tough on her,” said Attorney and Legal Analyst Harry Bell. .

All the publicity on office spending aside, Senators say that all four justices will receive fair trials. 

“What we do is we take a oath to hear the evidence and work from the evidence on making our decisions whether to convict or not. And so it’s going to be just like any other jury,” said Senator Craig Blair, (R-Berkeley).

“This is basically like a court of law. And we have to do what is right. You have to listen to the evidence and hear all of the facts. Once you get the evidence and you get the facts, then  you make your decision form there,” said Senator Richard Ojeda, (D-Logan). 

Suspended and indicted Justice Allen Loughry will also face a trial aimed at removing him from office.

As of now there are four trials scheduled in the Senate starting with Justice Beth Walker on October 1. 

The trial dates for the other justices will be, Margaret Workman on October 15, Robin Davis on October 29  and Allen Loughry on November 15. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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