Archive for the tag 'West Virginia'

Jun 28 2011

Stricter Recusal Standards Offer Only Part of the Answer

A recent editorial in West Virgina’s The Charleston Gazette implores the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates to consider model recusal standards at its session in August. West Virginia has been at the center of conversations about recusal reform since 2009’s Caperton v. Massey. After a trial decision in favor of Caperton, Massey contributed $3 […]

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Mar 23 2011

Public Financing Challenge at The Supreme Court

Published by under News,Our Perspective

On Monday, 3/28, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in McComish v. Bennett, a case that challenges a portion of Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Act. The ruling could have serious consequences for states that use public financing to allow elected judges to run for the bench without having to raise campaign funds. The challenged […]

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Aug 27 2009

People Are Talking About Merit Selection

Dialogue and debate are critical when  important decisions are at stake.  That’s why it’s heartening to learn that people are talking about Merit Selection in different forums in several states.  This includes Pennsylvania, where the Courts Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will soon be holding hearings on Merit Selection. But Pennsylvania is not alone.  […]

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Aug 03 2009

West Virginia Judge Does Not Have to Recuse

Published by under Judges,News

The West Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that Judge Michael Thornsbury is not required to recuse from the case involving Massey Coal Company.  According to the Associated Press (via, the high court found that “Conflict-of-interest allegations are not sufficient grounds for disqualification.”  However, the Supreme Court also ordered Judge Thornsbury to hold a hearing […]

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Jul 22 2009

Something’s Still Rotten in the State of West Virginia

Published by under Judges,News

A little over a month has passed since the Caperton decision, and things still seem to be rotten in the state of West Virginia. Both the Charleston Gazette and the Associated Press (via are reporting new accusations of judicial impropriety in a case involving Massey Energy, the coal company that was accused in Caperton […]

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Jul 14 2009

A Good Place To Start

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform appointed by Governor Joe Manchin will be focusing on “judicial selection, campaign finance rules, and the right to appeal.”  Since these have been major issues in West Virginia recently, this seems to us like a good place to start.  We hope that Pennsylvania […]

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Mar 02 2009

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Caperton Tomorrow

Published by under Judges,News,Opinion

On Tuesday March 3, the United States Supreme Court will be hearing oral argument in Caperton v. Massey — the case from West Virginia involving whether or not judges must recuse from cases involving major campaign contributors.  PMC Executive Director Lynn A. Marks explained in PMC’s press release why this case is so important: Pennsylvania […]

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Feb 26 2009

Perception and Reality — Linked Together When it Comes to the Courts

Published by under Judges,Opinion

A column by Detroit Free Press assoicate editor Ron Dzwonkowski offers a straightforward, no nonsense approach to the upcoming United States Supreme Court case of Caperton v. Massey.  As we’ve reported, this is the case from West Virginia that presents the question of whether judges have to recuse (step aside) in cases involving campaign contributors.  […]

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Dec 11 2008

Is There a Better Way for West Virginia?

Lots of folks in West Virginia are talking about changing the way judges are selected. This is no surprise, after expensive, divisive elections and an electoral history that has brought a tremendously important case about campaign contributions to the United States Supreme Court.  Here’s what they’re talking about. Lincoln Walks at Midnight reports that Governor […]

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Nov 19 2008

What They’re Saying in West Virginia

Published by under Judges,News,Opinion

The fact that the United States Supreme Court has decided to hear Caperton v. Massey — the West Virginia case involving campaign contributors and recusal of judges — is of course big news to lawyers and judges.  But it’s also important to members of the public who come to the courts to settle disputes.  Here’s […]

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