CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A full order has been filed for the West Virginia Supreme Court’s August decision denying former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s attempt to get on November ballots in the Mountain State as the Constitution Party’s U.S. Senate candidate.
The state Supreme Court found the following:
“West Virginia Code § 3-5-23(a) (2018), which prevents unsuccessful primary election candidates from subsequently running as nomination-certificate candidates, does not violate the constitutional guarantees of freedom of association and equal protection.”
Attorneys for Blankenship were challenging Secretary of State Mac Warner’s decision that barred Blankenship from running since he unsuccessfully sought the Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nomination in the May primary election.
Attorney Marc Williams has been representing the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office in the case.
“The Supreme Court found that our existing statute that was in effect at the time that Mr. Blankenship changed parties prohibited his being the nominee of the Constitution Party,” Williams said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
“Like every other case that has looked at the constitutionality of the ‘sore loser’ provision, our court found that it did not violate two provisions of the U.S. Constitution.”
An initial order was issued within hours of oral arguments on Aug. 29.
Justice Paul Farrell, a temporary Supreme Court appointee, along with Justice Alan Moats and Justice Darrell Pratt, followed up with a full ruling that was filed on Oct. 5.
“We find that there is no clear legal right in the petitioners to the relief sought, and there is no legal duty on the part of the respondent to do the thing which the petitioners seek to compel. Accordingly, we deny the writ sought by the petitioners,” the Court concluded.