Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

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West Virginia Supreme Court
WVCourtSeal.png
Seal of the West Virginia Supreme Court
Established 1863; 1872
Country West Virginia West Virginia, United States United States
Location Charleston, West Virginia
Authorized by West Virginia Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Judge term length 12 Years
Number of positions 5
Website Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Chief Justice
Currently Robin Davis
Since 2014
Lead position ends 2015
Jurist term ends 2025

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is the state supreme court of the state of West Virginia, the highest of West Virginia's state courts. It is located in the state capital, Charleston, although in recent years it has operated a system where court is held for a single day at various colleges and in the home courthouses of the current justices, as an outreach program.

Although the West Virginia Constitution allows for an intermediate court of appeals to be created, the Supreme Court currently provides the only review of the decisions of the state's trial courts of general jurisdiction, the West Virginia Circuit Courts. In December 2010, the Supreme Court promulgated a major revision of West Virginia's rules of appellate procedure, by which it provided that it would hear all properly perfected appeals of right from the circuit courts.

The justices of the court are elected to 12-year terms by staggered, state-wide, partisan elections. Pursuant to the West Virginia Code (chapter 51), the Court holds two regular sessions annually with the first session commencing on the second Tuesday in January and the second session commencing on the first Wednesday in September. The Court may also sit in special session as needed.[1]

Upon the death, resignation, or removal of a sitting justice, Article 8, Section 2 of the West Virginia Constitution permits the Governor to appoint a replacement. An election to fulfill the unexpired term must be held by the next regular general election. Because of the long length of the courts term (12 years), mid-term vacancies are frequent.

[2]

Justices[edit]

The current members of the Court are Chief Justice Robin Davis, Brent Benjamin, Menis Ketchum, Allen Loughry and Margaret Workman.

The Chief Justiceship is a rotating office, which by tradition changes from one Justice to another each year. It brings primarily administrative duties, although the Chief Justice does have the authority to appoint replacements for recused justices under, Article 8, Section 2 of the West Virginia Constitution. (The duty would fall to the longest serving Justice should the Chief Justice him or herself be recused.)

The Court sometimes designates "senior-status" (retired) judges or justices to temporarily fulfill vacancies when required. Other times it will promote a current Circuit Court Judge. By tradition most Circuit Judges are promoted to at least one such case during their careers.

2008 Elections[edit]

The seats held by Justice Spike Maynard and Justice Larry Starcher were up for full-term election in 2008. Maynard was considered to be at the right of the court at the time, and Starcher to the left.

On December 20, 2007, Justice Starcher announced that he would not seek another term on the Court, as polls indicated he would not win.[3]

In the May 13, 2008 primary election, Maynard was defeated for reelection, placing third in the Democratic primary. Maynard was defeated for the two available spots in the general election by former Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman and Huntington attorney Menis Ketchum.[4] Justice Workman and Mr. Ketchum, both Democrats, were elected to the Court in November 2008 by defeating Republican Beth Walker.

2012 Elections[edit]

The seats held by Justice Davis and Justice Thomas McHugh were up for election in 2012. Justice McHugh had previously stated he was retiring and not running for re-election. Justice Davis was re-elected, while Allen Loughry II was elected to his first term in office.[5] Loughry was previously best known for writing Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide, a book that includes forewords written by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).[6] Loughry was elected as a Republican, the first time the court will have 2 elected Republicans since 1940. (The court had up to 3 appointed Republicans due to mid-term vacancies during Republican governorships, but none ever won the subsequent election.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ West Virginia Code - Chapter 51
  2. ^ West Virginia Code - Article 8, Section 2
  3. ^ Charleston Gazette
  4. ^ WSAZ-TV Web-Page
  5. ^ "2012 General Election Results", West Virginia Secretary of State
  6. ^ Davis Mistich "Two seats up for grabs in WV Supreme Court", West Virginia Public Broadcasting, November 2012

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°20′11″N 81°36′43″W / 38.336401°N 81.612062°W / 38.336401; -81.612062