By Steven Allen Adams, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — While the majority of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled against a motion to dismiss a case accusing Gov. Jim Justice of violating the state constitution by not living in Charleston, a justice appointed by the governor had differing opinions.
Justice John Hutchison, appointed by Justice nearly two years ago to replace the federally convicted justice Allen Loughry, penned a dissent Nov. 24 to the opinion of the majority of the court issued Nov. 20.
The opinion, written by incoming chief justice Evan Jenkins, denied a motion for a writ of prohibition sought by Justice attorneys Mike Carey and George Terwilliger after a Kanawha County judge ruled against a motion to dismiss a writ of mandamus case brought by Del. Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, asking the court to require Justice to follow the Constitution and live in Charleston.
Taking issue with the majority opinion, Hutchison said the court needs to consider the time when the state constitution was written, which states that the governor and other elected members of the Board of Public Works “shall reside at the seat of government during their terms of office …”
“The majority opinion is a well-written exposition on the 1863 and 1872 Constitutional debates. The founders of West Virginia believed every governor ‘must remove to the seat of government’ and ‘live … at the capital so we may at least find him,’” Hutchison wrote…