CHARLESTON – Chief Justice Robin Davis has recused herself from hearing the case regarding a special gubernatorial election.
On Nov. 22, Davis advised Court Clerk Rory Perry that she was stepping out of the debate regarding West Virginia Citizen Action Group's petition arguing that state code says a special election should occur.
"Please be advised that, because I have announced publicly my intention to be a candidate, in some capacity, on the 2012 election ballot, I have determined that, out of an abundance of caution, it is appropriate that I voluntarily recuse myself from participating in this matter," Davis wrote. "Participation in the election process is a cherished and guarded right of the citizens of the State of West Virginia.
"In order to promote confidence in the integrity of the system by which our citizens choose their elected officials, I believe it is of the utmost importance that even appearances of conflicting interests should be avoided whenever possible."
Preston Circuit Judge Lawrance S. Miller Jr. will hear the case in place of Davis, according to a Nov. 22 order from Acting Chief Justice Margaret Workman.
Also on Nov. 22, Perry said WV-CAG's case would not be expedited, despite a motion from House Speaker Rick Thompson to do so.
Thompson, who is one of the named defendants along with Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, has said he plans to run for governor in the special election.
Perry wrote that respondents in the case have until Dec. 27 to file their responses. Motions to intervene must be received by Dec. 15, and the same goes for motions for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae.