West Virginia Record

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Everyone else has an intermediate appellate court!

Our View

By The West Virginia Record | Jan 28, 2020

General court 02

“Why can’t I get a tattoo or a piercing?” “Why can’t I wear this outfit?” “Why can’t I go to the party?” “Why can’t I stay out past midnight?”

If you’re a parent of a teenager, you’ve no doubt heard those questions, or ones like them – and the all-purpose justification thrown back at you when you refuse to grant permission for something you consider ill-advised or unnecessary: “Everyone else is doing it.” 

“Everyone else is doing it” is not a good reason to do anything. In fact, it may well be the very reason not to do something.

On the other hand, though the popularity of some action or activity may not justify your engagement in it, it may be a sufficient reason to investigate and find out for yourself if the thing everyone else is doing actually is worth doing, because it may be.

To the shock of their offspring, some parents do do this from time to time and ultimately change their minds about the things they previously denied permission for.

Proponents of establishing an intermediate appellate court in West Virginia can sound like teenagers when they point out that most other states have one. That may be true, but so what?

However, the fact that most other states do have one behooves us to consider why. If the reasons are compelling and the benefits accruing are substantial, then we can make a rational decision to follow suit.

State boosters long have advocated for an intermediate appellate court, knowing it would make West Virginia’s business climate friendlier to commercial interests and help revitalize our economy. Former Gov. Joe Manchin’s Independent Commission on Judicial Reform recommended the establishment of such a court eleven years ago, and bills to do that have been introduced in the legislature multiple times, but they never make it to the governor’s desk.

Maybe 2020 will be the year we finally establish an intermediate court for West Virginia – not because most other states have one, but because it’s a good thing to have.

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West Virginia Supreme Court of AppealsWest Virginia State Senate

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