Governor's Appointments to Supreme Court Draw Criticism from Democrat Party Leader Tim Miley

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | August 26, 2018

Charleston, W.Va.  - Gov. Jim Justice has named House Speaker Tim Armstead and Congressman Evan Jenkins, both Republicans, to two Supreme Court seats that opened after almost a year of controversy.

The announcements were made this morning in the Governor’s Office, as family and political supporters of the two observed.

Outside the roomful of supporters, fresh controversy ignited over whether the appointments of two well-known Republicans will truly restore belief in the court or, instead, further accusations that conservatives have turned a firestorm into a power grab.

Governor Justice told those who gathered on Saturday morning that the appointments will help.

“We need true conservatives — this is really important — with honor and integrity to restore the trust from the blow to the stomach we’ve suffered in the last few months,” said Justice, who announced appointments and then departed.

The appointments would last through the General Election, which is Nov. 6. At that point, voters will pick who should fill the vacancies on the Supreme Court.

Armstead and Jenkins were among the names provided to the governor by the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission, which interviewed applicants Thursday and Friday.

Governor Justice made a point of saying he wanted to appoint people who would want to run again. He said he would like a chance of maintaining continuity, considering the tumult the court has gone through as each of its members faced indictment or impeachment.

Tim Armstead

Armstead and Jenkins are among the 20 candidates running for the two seats.

For now, Armstead will fill a seat vacated by Justice Menis Ketchum, who resigned right before impeachment proceedings began in the House of Delegates. Ketchum pleaded guilty to this week to federal charges related to using a state vehicle and a state-issued card for his travel to out-of-state golf outings.

Evan Jenkins

Jenkins will fill a seat vacated by Justice Robin Davis, who resigned after being named in articles of impeachment in the House of Delegates. Jenkins ran against Davis for the court in 2000.

Davis resigned after being named in articles dealing with her $500,000 office renovation, accusations that she had played a role in the unlawful overpayment of senior status judges and a maladministration claim that she and other justices failed to hold each other accountable.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story by Brad McElhinny.


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