08 December 2008

Judicial Selection Remains a Topic in W.Va. (Updated)

The Associated Press reports that "the Legislature continues to study the way West Virginia picks its judges and justices, in the wake of a vote of confidence by most of the state's judiciary in favor of the current method of partisan elections."

A legislative interim committee heard several differing views on the topic Sunday. Speakers included the heads of the state's plaintiff's and defense bars, and former judge-turned-lawmaker-turned-judge-elect John Yoder, R-Jefferson.

The committee met after "the West Virginia Judicial Association adopted a resolution last week in support of partisan elections," AP notes. "The measure came after the group's executive committee unanimously endorsed a proposal from Gov. Joe Manchin for nonpartisan elections of circuit judges."

The legislative panel also learned from the other speakers, Allan Karlin and Thomas Hurney, of their work on "a special committee formed by the West Virginia Bar Association to study the state's judicial selection method."

The Charleston Gazette also reported on the interim session meeting, as did MetroNews.

Update: Stateline.org reports that "bare-knuckle races in states including Alabama, Mississippi, Wisconsin and West Virginia have renewed calls from advocacy groups, lawyers and others in the legal community for structural changes to the way judicial elections work."

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