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Supreme Court handling of Morrisey case draws remarks

November 18, 2018

Astay issued by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in a case involving Attorney General Patrick Morrisey elicited some sharp comments by online readers of HD Media newspapers. Morrisey, a Republican candidate running for U.S. Senate in the November election, had defied an order by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster to release emails between his office and pharmaceutical companies regarding settlements that Morrisey reached with them regarding shipment of large numbers of opioids to West Virginia.

Webster had ruled that the documents, sought by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted more than a year ago, should be made available to the public prior to that election so that voters could consider the information if they wished.

Morrisey did not provide the documents, and instead sought a stay of the order by the Supreme Court. The court did not act prior to the election, but two delays later issued the stay and gave the parties in the case 30 days to file briefs. Justices Evan Jenkins and Beth Walker, both Republicans, voted in favor of the stay while Justice Margaret Workman, a Democrat, voted against. Justice Paul Farrell recused himself from the matter, and Justice Tim Armstead, also a Republican, did not participate in the ruling. Jenkins and Armstead were appointed to the court this fall by Gov. Jim Justice, also a Republican, and both won election to their positions in the Nov. 6 election.

Here are some of readers’ comments:

Elizabeth Kellogg: “Stacked court to come W.V. ...You voted for it, now enjoy it. Corruption will be the order of the day.”

Jeff Harmon: “Corruption is always the order of the day when it comes to any part of the US Govt. Lol!”

Avalee Swisher: “No fix, providing courts do not do their jobs or keep his feet to the fire! Show us!”

Kathy Hudson Holtsclaw: “That is what (West Virginians) jet for voting in Justice’s puppets. Republicans covering for each other. I should have voted Democrat because they don’t cover for each other. My fault.”

Steven R Broadwater: “It’s at least partly the way the non-partisan election is set up. We need a runoff between the top two vote-getters if nobody reaches 50 percent — and nobody came close.”

Ethan McKenzie: “Omg! A court stacked with the likes of Armstead and Jenkins ruled to let a fellow Republican hide his nefarious dealings? I never would have expected that.”

Cathy Crouch Walker: “And so it begins. Our ‘non-partisan’ courts at work.”

Deb McAllister: “Just another Republican who thinks he’s above the law. Another embarrassment. The old boy (Morrisey) still lost. The darling of the big pharmaceutical companies. I guess the insurance companies will be beholden to him for sueing to end pre-existing conditions protections! They can make big bucks.”

Patrick Baxter Brennan: ”... but the super pac commercial told me they were gonna do good.”

Shawn Nehuatl: “The non-partisan court is sure being partisan and unethical.”

Dottie Childress: “Who was surprised in this? I hope not the fools who voted for this lot!”

Barry Marks: “We should use one of our neighbors courts — ours seem to be totally lost.”

Judy Walton Koehler: “Of course they did. Party line.”

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