As discussed in an earlier blog post, every member of the current West Virginia Supreme Court got into some type of trouble. According to the American Bar Association Journal’s Weekly Newsletter, Associate Justice Beth Walker, impeached by the West Virginia House, was acquitted by that state’s Senate on a vote of 31-1.
My initial impression is that this outcome is heartening. Its near-unanimity indicates that the state’s Senate reached a bipartisan consensus that Justice Walker’s actions merited a reprimand but not removal from the bench. In today’s overheated political environment, the measured approach seen here suggests that appropriate consideration was given both to the role of the judiciary and to the responsibilities of individual justices.