CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s state Supreme Court decision regarding the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Margaret Workman.
“Yesterday’s opinion by the judges appointed to hear the motion by Justice Workman related to the pending impeachment trial in the State Senate has, unfortunately, interjected unnecessary confusion where none had to be,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “A strict reading of yesterday’s opinion removes all checks and balances on the judicial branch of government. Clearly, that result cannot stand as law in West Virginia.
“While the top priority of the Legislature is currently restoring a fully functional Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and returning public confidence to the state’s judiciary, it is imperative that all three branches of government recognize – and respect – the clear constitutional authority of the other branches,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “No act by any branch can negate the clear authority of the others, no matter the circumstances.
“The House will be prepared to move forward with the scheduled proceedings in the Senate on Monday morning,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “The Legislature looks ahead to working with the other branches of our state’s government to restore the proper, and constitutional, balance of power in our government when these proceedings come to a close.”
***Also, As A Note: The House of Delegates was not named as a party in the legal action that was before the Supreme Court and did not make any filings regarding the claims made in that proceeding. However, House Managers did file an extensive defense in response to many of the claims raised in that petition – including challenges to the House’s procedural actions – with the Court of Impeachment, which leadership believes is the proper venue in which these claims should be adjudicated. That response is attached, and can also be found here.