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Judges without judgment

“We were kind of busy being judges and not paying attention to administrative things,” said West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman in response to the latest uproar over the most recent exposure of two justices' abuse of public funds to accommodate themselves in the extravagant style to which they wanted to become accustomed.

West Virginians have stopped singing the blues

The song "Happy Days," written at the outset of the Great Depression, became the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first presidential bid in 1932, but it could have been applied to Donald Trump's campaign 84 years later.

Solution: revise HB 4009 and pass it again

House Bill 4009, capping the amount of settlement funds that the state Attorney General’s office can keep in its consumer protection fund, passed both houses of the Legislature by overwhelming margins, but was vetoed by Gov. Jim Justice.

Going in the right direction, long way to go

Last month we trumpeted a progressive development in West Virginia: a new and growing effort to change direction and make our business climate a more friendly one.

Someone should put a safety cone in front of that speed bump!

“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly,”said British philosopher Herbert Spencer, “is to fill the world with fools.”

Share, share, share, share your booty

Picture the bank runs of the Depression. Financial institutions could accommodate the small number of nervous customers wanting to withdraw their savings and close their accounts, at first. As the number of withdrawals increased and panic set in, cash reserves rapidly dwindled until one by one the banks were shuttered.

One Sheets to the wind

A dozen roses, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, dinner at a fancy restaurant – those are some of the more common gifts given and received on Valentine's Day. Joshua Sheets of Danville might have settled for a cute little card signed in crayon by a secret admirer asking him to “Be Mine.” That would have been preferable to the unique Valentine's present that the Boone County attorney did receive this year.

'Justice Robin Jean Davis cordially invites you to join her for a Cocktail Buffet ...'

Have you ever been invited to dine at Justice Robin Davis' home? No? Neither have we. We hear she lays out a sumptuous spread, though, as exemplified by the dinner she hosted for circuit court judges at her home in the fall of 2013. Among the many delectable buffet items to nosh on were asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, artichoke tartlets, seared tuna on sesame crackers, pork tenderloin with apricot chutney, roasted red pepper and mushroom and artichoke pasta, and leek and pancetta and mushroom panzanella.

Winking at McGraw, scowling at Morrisey

Ever since the departure of the previous state attorney general, whom they let do as he pleased for 20 years, the West Virginia ​​​​​House of Delegates has feigned concern that the reformer who replaced him might run amok. “Ironic” doesn't half describe it.

West Virginia is going in the right direction

“We all want progress,” C.S. Lewis once observed, “but. if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”

Moving closer to an intermediate appellate court

The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended passage of the intermediate appeals court bill to the full senate with several amendments.

Let's make our state more appealing

How can you not like something that's inherently appealing? Like an appeals court. Not the state Supreme Court we already have, but an intermediate appellate court in-between our state's supreme and circuit courts. Like the appeals courts that exist in our federal judicial system and in all state judicial systems but those of West Virginia and eight other outliers.

The war on coal ain't over 'til it's over

It was a happy day in mining country last fall when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Trump Administration would scrap the EPA's Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the onerous emission standards purposefully designed to shutdown the coal industry.

Our Supreme Court alleges it is committed to 'sound fiscal management'

“The West Virginia Supreme Court is committed to sound fiscal management and administration of the judicial branch of government and takes its commitment to state taxpayers seriously.” Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, hee hee hee! Stop it, you're killing us!

One rule for us, another for Lois Lerner

One rule for thee, another for me. We all know people who think and act that way. Many are politicians and public officials. They have exacting standards for everyone outside their circle of power (and hold us to them), but the standards they set for themselves are lower, and they allow themselves a lot of leeway for infractions.

Where there's smoke, there's fire – and the Supreme Court warehouse is smoking

Judging by the way defendants plead in court cases, you'd have to conclude that virtually everyone is innocent. That's because the guilty frequently plead not guilty.

What a charming personality: quick to criticize and quick to take offense

No one, including presidents, should criticize judges, but judges can say whatever they want about anybody, including presidents, and that's okay.

The state Supreme Court needs a written policy about its furniture

A policy should be established and published so that the justices – and the citizens they work for – will know what it is.

Our state Supreme Court justices hold us in contempt

State Senate President Mitch Carmichael's call for a constitutional amendment to give the Legislature authority over the state Supreme Court's budget is gaining support daily as details emerge regarding its extravagant expenditures.

Slick Mr. H got a free defense with fringe benefits

Having a sexual relationship with a client can cloud an attorney's judgment, making the presentation of a rational, dispassionate argument in that client's behalf all but impossible. Plus, it puts undue pressure on the client to acquiesce to one's advances, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase, “How would like to pay for that, cash or credit?”