On the heels of this week’s ousting of Justice Maynard from West Virginia’s high court, news appeared in the Charleston Gazette that the multi-million-dollar mining lawsuit which landed the jet-setting judge on the wrong side of Mountain State voters (deftly unpacked here by Maggie Barron) could be heading before the U.S. Supreme Court if one of the litigants gets its way.
Yesterday, it came to light that Theodore Olson, former Solicitor General and the man who successfully represented President Bush in Bush v. Gore, is representing Harman Mining Co. in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their appeal.
“The improper appearance created by money in judicial elections is one of the most important issues facing our judicial system today,” Olson explained to the Charleston Gazette.
“A line needs to be drawn somewhere to prevent a judge from hearing cases involving a person who has made massive campaign contributions to benefit the judge.”
James Sample, author of “Fair Courts: Setting Recusal Standards,” agreed, noting that “The Brennan Center absolutely believes that the Supreme Court should review this case.”
“Justice Benjamin’s refusal to recuse himself is offensive to even the most basic notion of due process,” he continued. “The sheer audacity of the situation in this case is reflected by the fact that Ted Olson and the Brennan Center are in complete agreement.”