CHARLESTON -- The process for selecting a successor for state Supreme Court Justie Joseph Albright already has begun.

As with any vacancy occurring in a statewide elected office, the governor is obliged to fill the vacancy by appointment.

Gov. Joe Manchin will select a successor for Albright through a process set up by a 2005 executive order that created the Governor's Judicial Advisory Committee to assist him in evaluating potential judicial appointees.

The committee comprises seven persons, including the governor or his designee, according to Manchin spokesman Matt Turner. The committee interviews candidates submitted the governor and consults with residents of the state to advise the governor on the qualifications and aptitudes of the candidates.

"Over the next few weeks, the Governor's Office will receive letters of interest from persons interested in the appointment and persons who would like to serve on the committee," Turner said. "Once the committee is composed, the governor will call for a meeting of the committee to interview the applicants."

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