West Virginia experienced a number of newsworthy judicial elections over the last decade. In 2004, a group called “And for the Sake of the Kids” spent more than $3 million to defeat an incumbent Justice, Warren McGraw, and to elect his challenger, Brent D. Benjamin. More than $2 million of the money raised by And for the Sake of the Kids was contributed by a single coal executive — Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Energy. When Justice Benjamin later refused to recuse himself from a case in which Massey was appealing a $50 million verdict, the case — Caperton v. Massey — went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered Justice Benjamin disqualified. In a 2008 election, then-Chief Justice Elliott Maynard was ousted after pictures surfaced of him vacationing with Blankenship in the South of France.
In 2010, one Justice on West Virginia’s Supreme Court of Appeals was up for re-election. Justice Thomas McHugh, a Democrat, faced off against Republican challenger John Yoder on November’s ballot. McHugh retained his seat.
October 20, 2010 – We Agree
An ad by Justice McHugh saying he is fair and respected.
October 5, 2010 – Know Tom
Voters know and respect Justice McHugh.
October 5, 2010 – Patient-Physician
Justice McHugh has worked to preserve the patient-physician relationship in West Virginia
September 26, 2010 – Service
Thomas McHugh asks voters to allow him to continue to serve on the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Tony Mauro, West Virginia Justice Reverses Self, Recuses In Malpractice Case, The Blog of Legal Times, September 27, 2010.
Tony Mauro, New Recusal Controversy in West Virginia High Court, The Blog of Legal Times, September 24, 2010.