Who exactly presides over the impeachment trial of a state Supreme Court justice if the entire state Supreme Court is being impeached? It is an absurd constitutional conundrum that West Virginians are being forced to grapple with.
In an extraordinary and unprecedented move, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted to impeach all four state Supreme Court justices for spending issues and abuses of authority. The list of abuses is long and lengthy with allegations ranging from million dollar office renovations, personal use of state vehicles, lying, cheating, outright theft of state property, and a laundry list that is as appalling as it is sad.
Five justices sit on the state Supreme Court in West Virginia. The state legislature has drafted articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justices Robin Jean Davis, Beth Walker, and Allen Loughry. The court’s fifth justice, Menis Ketchum, retired in late July prior to articles of impeachment being drafted. He will plead guilty to two federal corruption charges on August 29, 2018.
The state House of Delegates voted to impeach Justice Allen Loughry on eight articles, setting the stage for a trial in the state Senate. He was placed on unpaid administrative leave in June after a state commission lodged a 32-count complaint against him, alleging pervasive violations of the state ethics code. He has since been indicted in federal court for 23 counts of fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to investigators.
The remaining three justices — Workman, Davis, and Walker — face impeachment for wasting government resources and failing to effectively administer the state courts. All three spent large sums of taxpayer dollars on lavish improvements to their chambers in the state capital, which cumulatively totaled almost $750,000, and allegedly abused state travel resources.
Walker was the final justice to be impeached when an article was approved stating all four justices abused their authority, citing failure to control office expenses, including more than $1 million in renovations to their individual offices, as well as not maintaining policies over matters such as working lunches and the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.
Davis was impeached for $500,000 in office renovations, though Walker originally dodged impeachment when lawmakers decided to overlook her $131,000 in spending on office renovations. A short time later, another article was withdrawn against Workman, who also spent $111,000 in renovations. Workman and Davis also allegedly authorized compensation for other state judges in excess of the amounts allowed by West Virginia law.
Interestingly enough, prior to this summer’s series of events leading to the mass impeachment of the entirety of the West Virginia Supreme Court, Davis was cited in the press for potential ethics violations in unrelated matters. In March 2017 a series of contributions made to her 2012 re-election campaign strongly resemble an illegal straw donation scheme entirely conducted at the behest of an attorney, Michael Fuller of the McHugh Fuller Law Group while defending a $92 million civil judgment in the state Supreme Court. That very same attorney also purchased the Davis family private jet in December 2011. Davis then, in turn, issued a ruling in 2014 preserving a large portion of Fuller’s $92 million award, as reported by the Daily Caller.
Lawmakers also approved articles of impeachment against Loughry for spending $363,000 in renovations to his office; having some $42,000 antique desk and computers all owned by the state at his personal home; lying to the House Finance Committee about taking home the desk along with a $32,000 suede leather couch also owned by the state; and for his personal use of state vehicles. Though another impeachment article was withdrawn dealing with an accusation Loughry used state money to frame personal items at his office.
Loughry, Workman, and Davis also were impeached for their roles in allowing senior status judges to be paid higher than allowed wages. Lawmakers say the overpayments violated state law and stopped when they were challenged by the Internal Revenue Service.
What is even more appalling is these four justices worked in a state where the median household income from 2012-2017 was approximately $42,644, according to the US Census Bureau. Compared to the median US household income it ranks more than $14,000 lower than the average in the rest of the nation and West Virginia is ranked as the third poorest state in the nation as a whole. Yet these people felt it appropriate to live the high life on the backs of those that have little to start with.
Delegate John Shott stated during an August 7 judiciary committee hearing -“There appears to be, based on the evidence before us, an atmosphere that has engulfed the court of cavalier indifference to the expenditure of taxpayer funds, to the protection of taxpayer-paid assets, and an almost incomprehensible arrogance that for some reason they are not a coequal branch but a superior branch of government.”
In answer to the question of who presides over the impeachment trial when entire state Supreme Court is being impeached, the answer lies within West Virginia’s constitution. It provides that the chief justice shall preside over impeachment trials in the state Senate. However, as Chief Justice Workman herself is also subject to impeachment, she is therefore ineligible to preside, as are the rest of her colleagues.
In that vein, Workman appointed Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Farrell to the high court on an interim basis late Friday. Farrell will serve in Loughry’s seat, pending the election of a successor in November. Farrell will also preside over impeachment proceedings in the legislature, although Walker disputes his power to do so.
Walker argued against Farrell’s installation as the presiding officer for impeachment issuing a short statement late Friday, stating – “I believe it is improper to designate any justice as acting chief justice for impeachment proceedings in which I or my colleagues may have an interest and that have not yet commenced in the Senate.”
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Kamala Harris Literally SPEECHLESS When Reporter Asks About Jussie Smollett Hoax – WATCH
Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris claimed the now-debunked attack on ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett was a modern-day lynching. “JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.” She had no evidence and now that it has been exposed as a hoax, Harris has nothing to say. Go figure.
When confronted over the hoax out of Chicago, Harris was literally dumbstruck and could not answer reporters over it. Smollett hired two Nigerian brothers and paid them $3500 at the time, promising $500 more when they got home to Nigeria, to stage a fake hate crime after an alleged racist letter Smollett received didn’t get enough attention. Upon hearing about the alleged hate crime, Harris accepted it at face-value despite the obvious holes in Smollett’s initial story.
Evidence has been uncovered from the hardware store where rope and bleach were purchased by the brothers who were acquaintances of Smollett’s. When confronted by a reporter on Monday asking her if her opinions regarding the Smollett incident have changed in light of the new evidence, Kamala Harris struggled to utter a phrase before side-stepping the issue. “Which tweet? What tweet?” Harris asked as the reporter questioned her about the “modern-day lynching” comment. Nice… that’s Politics 101 for corruptocrats.
“Um … I … I … Okay, so I will say this about that case, the facts are still unfolding, and, um, I’m very, um, concerned about obviously, the initial, um, allegation that he made about what might have happened,” she said. “And it’s something we should all take seriously whenever anyone, um, alleges that kind of behavior, but there should be an investigation. And I think that once the investigation has concluded then we can all comment, but I’m not going to comment until I know the outcome of the investigation.” Say what? Wow… that was simply unintelligible.
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman for the Republican National Committee, roundly criticized Harris for seemingly not remembering her being quick to blame Trump supporters for the Jussie Smollett attack. Harris has a convenient memory. “Kamala Harris had no problem using inflammatory rhetoric to tie the #JussieSmollettHoax to @realDonaldTrump & his supporters,” tweeted McDaniel. “Now that she has the facts, why can’t she even remember her divisive language? Why is she giggling about it?”
Harris has not even deleted her tweet in support of Smollett as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did. The California senator’s deflection reflects that of Cory Booker. He told people to withhold judgment until more facts came out. “The information is still coming out. I’m going to withhold until all the information actually comes out from on the record sources,” Booker said over the weekend. He just took Smollett’s claims at face value with no evidence as Harris did.
“The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I’m glad he’s safe,” Booker tweeted in response to the attack. “To those in Congress who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention.”
.@KamalaHarris's face and pause when asked about her previous tweet that the attack on Jussie Smollett was a "modern-day lynching" is something to behold
h/t @ThePowersThatBe pic.twitter.com/o9m7S0FTJ9
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) February 18, 2019
I think we’ve seen enough facts to know the whole thing is yet another leftist hoax. We don’t need to wait any longer on this incident – it is not aging well for the left. The Chicago police are no longer looking at Smollett as a victim here.
From Fox News:
“Smollett, who is black and openly gay, claimed he was assaulted by two men who yelled racist and anti-gay slurs– as well as the phrase “This is MAGA country!” — as Smollett was walking to his Chicago apartment. Chicago police arrested and questioned two Nigerian brothers in the alleged attack, but released them on Friday without charges. Investigators said they’ve requested a follow-up interview with Smollett, but the actor’s representatives said there have been no plans to meet with police for the time being.”
Now that she has the facts, why can't she even remember her divisive language? Why is she giggling about it? pic.twitter.com/imY8lxm89m
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) February 18, 2019
You know it’s funny… Harris and Booker never call for due process when accusing the right. But now they’re all for it because it’s one of their own. How hypocritical can you get?
For instance, during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, they immediately believed Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against the judge without a shred of evidence or a corroborative witness. And despite evidence vindicating Kavanaugh, they smeared him night and day. After all, he’s not a Hollywood celebrity or anointed by the left. I guess that makes all of this okay.
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HA Ha! McConnell To Call Vote On Ocasio’s Green New Deal, Schumer’s PISSED
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who on a good day looks like he’s sucking on a lemon, ripped into Republicans for planning to force a vote on the Green New Deal. They want everyone on record concerning where they stand for this insanity. Schumer doesn’t want the Dems pinned down and he’s really ticked at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for calling the vote. McConnell is trolling the Dems and I love it.
Schumer called the plan a “stunt,” a “cheap, cynical ploy” and “a game of political gotcha.” Considering Schumer wrote the proverbial book on dirty politics, he should know. Actually, it is a valid move to make politicians say they are either for or against the Green New Deal. “The Republican leader announced he’s going to bring up a resolution he intends to vote against,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Now that is what the American people hate about Congress — the pointless partisan games.” No sir… they hate the corrupt leftists tearing us apart.
Dear @SenateMajLdr McConnell:
Stop trying to distract from the fact that the GOP has no plan on climate change.
I'm headed to the Senate Floor to issue you a challenge to admit for the first time:
1. Climate change is real
2. It's caused by humans
3. Congress needs to act
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 14, 2019
Schumer isn’t the only Democrat calling foul here. They are terrified of being tied to a plan that would literally destroy the US and everything we hold dear. But most of the Democratic field running for the presidency in 2020 has already rallied behind the deal. Even so, Schumer, joined by colleagues on the Senate floor, said: “Bring it on.” He said Democrats “believe that we need to do something about climate change” and added: “Do Republicans?” Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with greed, graft, and corruption.
McConnell promised a Senate vote on the Green New Deal last week. He wants Democrats to go on record. Nice tee-up for the 2020 race and reelecting Trump. “I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal,” McConnell told reporters. “And we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate. We’ll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal.”
The Green New Deal was put forth by Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). She wants to transform our economy and way of life in an attempt to fight faux climate change. It recently came under scrutiny after revelations that a related FAQ document included passages promising a job to “all people of the United States” – including those “unwilling to work” – and suggesting air travel could be made obsolete. And don’t even get me started on eliminating cow farts.
“We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast,” the now-deleted document also read. Then Ocasio-Cortez and her minions tried to claim that the doc was concocted by Republicans. She lied her ever-loving head off.
From Fox News:
“But McConnell’s move to bring the plan to a vote on the Senate floor will be a key test for Democratic presidential candidates such as Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, who are running on the progressive platform in 2020.
“While backing of the far-left proposal will ultimately improve their liberal bona fides and their support from the Democratic base, the support of the plan will undoubtedly be the target of attacks during the general election.
“President Trump has already begun attacking the Green New Deal, claiming it would “shut down American energy” and describing it as “a high school term paper that got a low mark” during a rally Monday in El Paso, Texas.
“Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, said that McConnell’s plan to bring the plan to the vote will only show “just how out of touch Republican politicians are with the American people.”
“Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, a co-sponsor of the plan, also decried McConnell’s move.
“Don’t let Mitch McConnell fool you: this is nothing but an attempt to sabotage the movement we are building. He wants to silence your voice so Republicans don’t have to explain why they are climate change deniers. McConnell wants this to be the end, this is just the beginning,” Markey said.”
This is an attempt to wake America up and show them what will happen if the Democrats seize control. Al Gore never went away, he just co-opted the millennials and power-hungry climbers in the Democratic Party.