Due Diligence & Due Process - West Virginia Strong

Due Diligence & Due Process

Another layer of complexity and confusion has been added to West Virginia's State Supreme Court chaos. Just over a week ago, a sitting State Supreme Court comprised entirely of appointed acting justices ruled in favor on Impeached Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman earlier this week. This brought at least a temporary halt to the Senate's trial of Workman that was scheduled to begin this past Monday.

The courts decision centered around two points. The first being that the offenses Workman was charged with were not impeachable offenses since they weren't outlined in state code, or were outlined in state code, but those sections of code were found to be unconstitutional. 

The second part of the argument centered around the fact that the House of Delegates never formally voted on on the full impeachment resolution. They separated the resolution into individual articles of impeachment, and voted on them individually, but never concluded these proceeding by voting on the resolution in it's entirety. The argument here is that this is similar to voting on amendments to a bill, but never passing the bill itself. 

The court's entire opinion is available here

The State Senate released the following response to the Court's decision (from the Charleston Gazette Mail)

We have received the Court’s Order and are planning to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals. Pursuant to the authority granted the Senate in the West Virginia Constitution, the Court of Impeachment will convene at 9 a.m. Monday

Sure enough the Senate gaveled in on Monday, and called for Judge Paul T. Ferrell to take the podium to begin the proceedings, but Judge Ferrell was not present. After speeches from several senators the senate adjourned. The Senate has now asked the court to reconsider, while also throwing the ball back to the House of Delegates, claiming the court's issues are better taken up with the body that passed the articles of impeachment, rather than the body that's currently sitting as a jury in the Court of Impeachment. (Source: WV Public Broadcasting)

For more WV Strong Coverage of this ongoing story, check out Dan Heyman's "Impeachment Treads To Watch"

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