Free Minds & Free Markets

West Virginia’s Entire Supreme Court Just Got Impeached

The four justices allegedly spent more than $1 million in taxpayer funds on office renovations.

Facebook/Supreme Court of Appeals of West VirginiaFacebook/Supreme Court of Appeals of West VirginiaWest Virginia's House of Delegates has impeached all four of the state's Supreme Court justices, who allegedly abused their authority and used taxpayer funds for personal gain.

Fourteen articles of impeachment were brought up against Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justices Allen Loughry, Robin Davis, and Elizabeth Walker of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Eleven of those articles were officially adopted last night and this morning, putting the justices' fates in the hands of the state Senate. Davis has already retired from her post. Another former justice, Menis Ketchum, resigned last month and admitted to defrauding the state.

Of the four justices impeached this week, Loughry is probably in the most trouble. According to the articles of impeachment, he wasted more than $363,000 of taxpayer funds on office renovations, including a $32,000 couch. He's also accused of misusing government vehicles and computer equipment, taking a desk from his office home with him, and lying to the state's House Finance Committee when questioned about his alleged wrongdoing.

Loughry is facing something worse than just removal from office. In June, he was indicted on multiple counts of fraud. His case is somewhat ironic, considering that he's the author of a 2006 book about political corruption in West Virginia.

Davis, meanwhile, allegedly spent $500,000 to renovate her office. Workman and Walker were also accused of unnecessarily spending large amounts of state funds to remodel their offices ($111,000 and $131,000, respectively). But they were cleared, as those sums were considerably less than what Loughry and Davis allegedly spent.

The justices aren't just accused of overspending on themselves. The House of Delegates also approved impeachment articles charging Loughry, Workman, and Davis with overpaying senior status judges (who are retired but still preside over some cases) for their work.

Walker was the last of the justices to be impeached. The House said that she, along with her colleagues, failed "to provide or prepare reasonable and proper supervisory oversight" of the Supreme Court of Appeals and its "subordinate courts."

"This is indeed a sad day and certainly no cause for anyone to celebrate," Del. John Shott (R–27), chairman of the state's House Judiciary Committee, told The New York Times. "But it is our duty, and I think the public demands it."

There is also a significant timing issue at play with the impeachment proceedings and subsequent state Senate hearings. As NPR notes, West Virginia has until the end of today to set up a special election to replace any departing justices. If that deadline isn't met, Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, will be able to appoint judges to fill the open seats.

In announcing her retirement, Davis explained that she wanted West Virginians to "be afforded their constitutional right to elect my successor in November." State officials have already scheduled a special election to replace Ketchum.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

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  • sarcasmic||

    including a $32,000 couch

    What the...

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I assume it comes with a built-in prostitute.

  • ||

    made of rich Corinthian leather

  • gimmeasammich||

    I assume you mean the prostitute? I guess everyone has their thing...

  • Brian||

    I'm sure they think it was all worth it, just for that.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    At that price it should at least be called a sofa.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Dude, for that money, it better be a davenport!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A Chesterfield?

  • Fancylad||

    Definitely a chesterfield. Nothing says refinement, class and $32k like Canadian terminology.

  • Ben of Houston||

    That was my response as well. I can see some entitled lawyer overspending. However, I don't see how you can spend more renovating one office than you could purchasing a brand-new 6-bedroom house. How is it even possible to waste that much on so little?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hahaha. This is awesome!

    Fucking booted off the bench for corruption and generally being bad judges, that think they are above the law.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If our GOP congress had a speaker with balls, we could start impeaching all those progressive activist judges. I'll bet after the first few were gone that these nonsense injunctions against the president would come to a halt.

  • mondo_cane||

    I totally agree and the nation would be the better for it. This crap has gone on for the first two years of Trump's administration. The distraction alone from his duties by these progressive activists has cost the nation a lot. The should pay for it by losing their esteemed offices.

  • Tezos||

    "progressive activist judges"? Loughry is Republican.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    "This is indeed a sad day and certainly no cause for anyone to celebrate,"

    I disagree. Were it only judges got impeached more often.

  • Flinch||

    If only California could see some action like this. When nothing happens, corruption is as bad as it gets.

  • Elilis Wyatt||

    All four now qualified for Trump's Cabinet.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They're Democrats. So Trump wont pick them.

  • Tezos||

    Not all. Loughry for one is Republican.

    Watch how he now wraps himself in the Bible & Flag.

    Also, for good measure he is going to diss the Media because, why not?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hihn, fuck off.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I hear there's rumblings on the left about impeaching Federal Supreme court justices because it looks like they won't be at the levers to power for a time to come.

    Here's Razorfists's novel take.

  • BYODB||

    Well of course, the Progressive left must hold the courts. It's their primary method of getting around the Constitution.

    Without the courts they'd need to actually try for amendments, which as we all know means going on the record and appealing across the aisle, something they absolutely refuse to do. Much easier to simply acquire the single branch of government that's evolved well past any theoretical checks and balances and rule by fiat.

    The one check on the SC is impeachment, that's essentially it beyond the other super hero judges on the bench (and they only need 5 to wield that power). They could say, tomorrow, that Congress doesn't have the power of the purse and the only thing that could be done is remove them from office. Presumably, if they aren't removed, Congress loses an enumerated power.

    You see, what the framers meant was that everyone in Congress can have an electric purse.

    One thing that needs to happen is a convention of the states, specifically to deal with issues like this that Congress has refused to deal with. The odd's of that happening, and the odd's of it going well if it did happen, are about the same as the survival expectancy of an ice cube in hell.

  • Tezos||

    Do you guys even check your facts before posting? Loughry, for one, is Republican.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Hell yeah, love me some Razorfist.

  • albo||

    The good news is that each justice gets to keep his or her corncob pipe collection and any hogs found sleeping under the desks.

  • Brian||

    "His case is somewhat ironic, considering that he's the author of a 2006 book about political corruption in West Virginia."

    It's a cookbook!

  • Eddy||

    "...and here's another story of corruption as, uh, told to me by a friend of mine..."

  • Sevo||

    Pace George Patton regarding more dead generals, we need more justices impeached.

  • Eddy||

    It's good Patton had a chance to be a top general in World War II - in peacetime he'd have probably been lured into being a stand-up comic. Whom the audience dared not laugh at.

  • ||

    Whom the audience dared not laugh at.

    Audience members in the first three rows may get slapped in the face.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Styx reported on this days ago. Reason went main stream at just the wrong time.

  • swampwiz||

    I did see one of the offices (perhaps the Chief Justice) have a nice wood intarsia floor design with the regions being WV's counties. However, that sofa looked to be something that could have been purchased for 1/10 the price.

  • FlameCCT||

    1/100th of the price might be too much!

  • Sympatica||

    We need to start doing this for decisions that flout statutory law or the Constitution.

  • Sympatica||

    Notice that 3 of the corrupt judges are women. The argument that we need more women in power is pure dog stool. They are just as corrupt as the men and just as vicious, if not worse.

  • Rockabilly||

    Off with their heads. !!!!

  • Hank Phillips||

    Brazil's looter court just gave itself pay raises.


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