The state Senate overwhelmingly voted to acquit Justice Walker of impeachment and censure her instead. Minute by minute, here’s what happened.

1:54 p.m. Senators approve resolution to censure Justice Walker.

Senators voted in favor of a resolution to censure Justice Walker, an official statement of disapproval.



Senators adjourned until 9 a.m. Oct. 15, which is the trial date for Chief Justice Margaret Workman.

1:18 p.m. Justice Walker to be officially censured

The Senate has recessed for 15 minutes to consider a resolution. In comments to media during that time, Senate President Mitch Carmichael said the resolution will be to officially censure Justice Walker. That’s an official designation of disapproval with her acts.

Several more senators spoke after today’s proceedings:

Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, called the censure of Justice Walker appropriate:

This is Senator Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, calling Baldwin’s vote partisan:

1:02 p.m. Senators have voted to acquit Justice Walker of impeachment.

Only Senator Stephen Baldwin of Greenbrier County, a Democrat, voted in favor of upholding the article that Walker faced.

This impeachment trial has concluded, and presiding Judge Farrell has already departed.

The Senate is recessing for 15 minutes. Senator Ferns says he will introduce a resolution. Senators are to familiarize in the mean time.

12:56 p.m. Senators return

The bell has rung and senators are returning. Justice Walker and her lawyers are here too.

The result will be announced by the yeas and nays.

From the rules: If two thirds of the Senators elected vote to sustain one or more Articles of Impeachment, a judgment of conviction and removal from office shall be pronounced and entered upon the Journal of the Court of Impeachment.

The magic number is 23 senators to remove from office.

12:24 p.m. The doors to the Senate have opened, meaning senators have concluded their deliberations.

Media and a few others have returned to await what the Senate says about whether Justice Walker should remain on the court.

10:40 a.m. Senators deliberate

Walker, who has been on the Supreme Court since 2017, was named in only one of the 11 impeachment articles passed by the House of Delegates. That’s the fewest of any of the justices.

That article accuses all four remaining justices of failing to establish policies about remodeling state offices, travel budgets, computers for home use and framing of personal items.

Essentially, the article claims the justices failed to hold each other accountable. All of the remaining justices were named in that article.

10:21 a.m. Chairman Shott on rebuttal: “What’s important is what happened before someone was looking.”

Shott says the defense reminds him of his own golf game, which apparently includes a lot of mulligans.

“How many mulligans does she get?” Shott asks, comparing Walker’s actions to a timeline of state financial difficulties.

Chairman Shott asks three questions of senators:

1. Has the public lost trust in the Supreme Court?

2. Has Justice Walker’s performance while no one was looking contributed to that?

3. Will keeping her on the court for 10 more years help or hurt efforts to restore that trust?

10:19 a.m. Justice Walker’s attorneys make closing statements on her behalf.

“She was trying to right the ship. She was trying to improve things,” says Mike Hissam, her attorney.

Hissam on Shott: “Has he admitted her efforts to improve the Supreme Court?”

9:26 a.m. Witness testimony concludes, closing statements begin.

First up is House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, making the case against Walker.

“Common sense. Common sense,” Shott begins. “When I heard that from our state Auditor yesterday it was like a bolt of light.”

Shott continues, “This issue of the paid working lunches is a common sense issue as much as it is a legal issue, and frankly it just doesn’t pass the smell test.”

Shott asks if it’s truly a noble purpose to provide taxpayer-funded working lunches for the Supreme Court and staff.

He notes that the practice came to light after a Freedom of Information Act request by WCHS-TV, saying sunlight is the best disinfectant. Shott says if there truly had been a noble purpose, participants would have kicked in, rather than relying on taxpayers.

Shott notes the meals were not just hot dogs but came from nice restaurants such as Soho’s or South Hills Market & Cafe.

Shott: “As hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to get Justice Walker to admit there was anything wrong with the practice. The best I got was that she described it as ‘not illegal.'”

Shott continues, “What we’ve done is expose for everyone what a scam this practice was.”

But he says Walker continued participating in the taxpayer-paid lunches.

On the $10,000 opinion Justice Walker hired outside counsel to write, Shott says he is not going to say much about it. But he says he voted for Walker as a candidate and it disappoints him. He says most people would just have buckled down for some extra hours to write it themselves.

On the office renovations by Walker: “These changes were cosmetic.”

Shott describes the Supreme Court as “infected by entitlement, by a cavalier attitude toward public funds.”

9:05 a.m. First witness is called for Day 2

We’re up and running again. Presiding Judge Paul Farrell is ready to call the first witness, Mike McKown the former state budget director who now works in the state auditor’s office.

McKown is providing the context of how stagnant the state budget was over the years in question, as the Supreme Court’s spending went unchecked.

McKown describes year after year of mid-year budget cuts for the rest of government. “It was tough.”

Cross examination now by Mike Hissam, lawyer representing Walker: “You’re not here to provide any specific testimony regarding Justice Walker, are you?”

McKown says no.