On Thursday, I wrote about how rejected Republican senatorial candidate, Nobel-Peace-Prize-for-Trump booster, and West Virginia's current 3rd District Congressman, Evan Jenkins, was considering a run for West Virginia's Supreme Court. (See next post down.) I assumed that the Wheeling Intelligencer would cover that news on Friday or today at the latest. Despite being a prominent Republican and an Ogden favorite, Jenkins' possible candidacy or appointment to the court has not been covered. And then I read today's lead editorial, did a little research, and it all fell into place.
The editorial , "Clean Up Court Without Politics," explains what the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee has been doing with the impeachment of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry and how the Democrats have attempted to move the process along. What the editorial doesn't mention is an important deadline: August 14. As WV Public Broadcasting explains:
Democrats are pushing for vacancies on the court to happen before Aug. 14, which would trigger a special election in November to fill the remainder of a justice’s term. Any vacancies that occur after that date would result in an appointment from the governor’s office -- and delay a special election, possibly until 2020.
But rather than explaining why the Democrats are pushing the impeachment process, it blames Democrats for playing politics:
Action by the Democrats is a blatant political stunt.
Yes, allowing the voters to decide is a "blatant political stunt." Of course, the editorial completely ignores how the Republicans have been playing politics (at least as Democrats see it). From WV Public Broadcasting:
Democrats on the committee noted that Del. Mike Pushkin introduced an impeachment inquiry against Loughry during the legislative session on Feb. 5. Pushkin’s efforts at the time were ignored -- and also criticized -- by Republican legislators.
“Here we are 6 months after I filed my resolution, more than a month after we convened this impeachment proceeding, and nothing has happened,” Pushkin said. “Our concern always was that the House Republican Leadership would drag their feet, and try to pack the court with appointed Justices, rather than having a Court composed of Justices voted on by our citizens. It turns out our fears were justified.”
And so, if I understand what is about to happen, the governor will get to appoint two judges to the court; one of which voters will not get to approve until 2020. Our local House of Delegates representative, Shawn Fluharty, is right:
Back to the editorial: it's a good thing politics won't be involved.
I checked Jenkins background on his congressional website and it states that he does have a law degree although it doesn't suggest that he has ever actually practiced law:
Evan has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He previously served as the executive director of the West Virginia State Medical Association and taught business law at Marshall University.