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First Supreme Court arguments are heard for October

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The first cases of the October term of the Supreme Court are now under advisement. Those oral arguments were made on Tuesday in Charleston before a very different looking court.

It was the first time on the bench for Justices Tim Armstead and Evan Jenkins, both of whom were recently appointed by Governor Jim Justice to serve temporarily after the retirement of former Justices Menis Ketchum and Robin Davis. Armstead and Jenkins are both on the election ballot next month as those two seats will be up to voters to decide.

Also on the court was appointed Justice Paul Farrell, normally a Cabell County Circuit Judge who is filling in for suspended Justice Allen Loughry. Loughry was on the witness stand in federal court across town defending himself against allegations of using his position on the bench for personal gain as those first arguments were made. Farrell was also brought on board to oversee the impeachment trials in the state Senate.

Chief Justice Margaret Workman presided over the session with a lot hanging over her head as well. Justice Workman is scheduled to stand trial for impeachment Monday morning in the state Senate. She’s appealing to the Supreme Court, which will have to have five completely different faces to make a ruling, as she tries to block her impeachment trial.

Also on the bench Tuesday, Justice Beth Walker, who was recently acquitted but censured in connection with the impeachment charge leveled against her in the House of Delegates.

Monday’s cases included tax assessments in Monongalia County, required use of in-state laborers on a Brooke County construction project and an appeal in a murder case in which the convicted killer’s attorney says he wasn’t given an adequate opportunity to question members of the jury ahead of time.


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