Supreme Court won't intervene in fight over impeaching West Virginia justices

Supreme Court won't intervene in fight over impeaching West Virginia justices
© Greg Nash

The Supreme Court announced Monday it will not intervene over a West Virginia Supreme Court ruling blocking the impeachment trials of three justices on the state’s highest court.

Last year, five acting justices of the West Virginia court ruled that the state Senate’s prosecution of then-Chief Justice Margaret Workman would violate the state’s constitution. The ruling would later be applied to halt impeachment proceedings against two former justices: Allen Loughry, who resigned after a federal conviction on felony fraud charges, and Robin Davis, who retired after the state House impeached her.

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“For my whole 30 years serving in the judicial branch, I have always tried to serve with integrity and honesty and fairness,” Workman told The Associated Press, saying she was “gratified” by the decision. “I have never had a negative mark on my ethical record and I’m glad to say that I still don’t.”

State lawmakers brought impeachment charges against the three justices in 2018, alleging corruption.

Workman argued that misconduct allegations against justices were exclusively the purview of the West Virginia Supreme Court itself, which the state’s five acting justices agreed with. Workman is still on the court but no longer chief justice, according to the AP.

State Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R) told the AP he was “deeply disappointed” by the high court’s decision.

“We always knew it was a long shot due to the Supreme Court taking up so few cases per year. Though we will not get our day before the nation’s highest court, we will continue to look for ways to right the wrong we believe the appointed state Supreme Court committed during the impeachment process,” Carmichael said.