CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill that says people in West Virginia all have the right to appeal legal cases to the State Supreme Court.
That may seem an obvious statement, but some view the vote as a political jab at the high court.
Last fall a temporary State Supreme Court, ruled that impeachment trials against some justices needed to be halted. The House of Delegates appealed that decision but was denied a hearing.
Some viewed that as a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers.
“The powers of impeachment belong to this House, exclusively. Sole power of impeachment in the State Constitution. Sole power of impeachment,” said Del. Pat McGeehan, (R) Hancock.
That decision is now being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But Some Democrats hope this is not an effort to re-start the impeachment process.
“At this point, I think the people of West Virginia are tired of watching politicians spend their money on a crazy impeachment process that was botched from the beginning. We’ve had people step down that were involved. Who else are we going to impeach at this point?” said Del. Shawn Fluharty, (D) Ohio.
The Chairman of the Judiciary Committee says that’s not the intent of this bill.
“And it really does not affect your vote on this bill. This bill is simply our assertion, that our citizens are entitled to this right as a matter of law,” said Del. John Shott, Chairman, (R) Mercer – Judiciary Committee.
The bill now advances to the State Senate.
Even if this bill becomes law, there are questions about whether it’s enforceable. Some believe the Legislature telling the Supreme Court what to do, is a violation of separation of powers.