Who presides over the impeachment trial of a state Supreme Court justice if the entire state Supreme Court is being impeached?
It’s an absurd constitutional hypothetical West Virginians are left to grapple with, after the West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee drafted articles of impeachment against four justices on the state’s highest court.
Five justices sit on the state Supreme Court in West Virginia. The state legislature has drafted articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justices Robin Jean Davis, Beth Walker, and Allen Loughry. The court’s fifth justice, Menis Ketchum, retired in late July. Ketchum will plead guilty to two federal corruption charges on Aug. 29.
Loughry was placed on unpaid administrative leave in June after a state commission lodged a 32-count complaint against him, alleging pervasive violations of the state ethics code. He has since been indicted in federal court for fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to investigators.