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Plans moving forward for selection of first judges to state’s new intermediate court

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The finishing touches are being put on the application for those interested in being one of the first three judges that will make up the state’s new Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Susan Brewer

The legislature passed a bill creating the court earlier this year and Gov. Jim Justice signed it into law. The ICA is scheduled to begin hearing its first cases next summer.

The state Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will interview those interested in sitting on the court and will forward nine names, three per position, to Gov. Justice who will make the appointments.

The commission met virtually Tuesday to finalize the wording in the application.

“We want to have at least a 30-day time period for folks to apply,” commission chair Susan Brewer said. “Once we know the volume of candidates we can reconvene and discuss how we want to do the interview process.”

The application deadline is Oct. 11 with interviews in November and December. Brewer said Tuesday she’s hopeful the interviews can take place face-to-face instead of virtually.

“We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed. Obviously in-person interviews are way better but we’ll just have to decide that when the time comes,” Brewer told members of the commission.

Justice Evan Jenkins

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Evan Jenkins recently told MetroNews it would be good to have the three judges on board in early January so they can help with the implementation of the new court.

“We think it’s important to get those three judges on board to be able to have a voice during the court’s construction and in the work we are doing now,” Jenkins said.

The Supreme Court is charged with putting the new court’s rules in place. Jenkins announced last week that an advisory panel would be helping in the process.

The chief justice was quick to point out the Supreme Court would play no role in choosing the three judges to the ICA.

“But we certainly applaud the fact they (advisory commission) are getting started early,” Jenkins said. “We applaud that it appears they will be on track to get a list of very qualified candidates to the governor and the governor will have the opportunity to select.”

Brewer said Tuesday she’s not sure how many how many people would apply for the three seats on the new court. She said advisory commission members should set aside a few days for interviews.

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