Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Judges ; Free from Politics?

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Judges ; Free from Politics?

Article excerpt

This year, for the first time, West Virginia judges were supposed to be removed from partisan politics. Their only election occurred in the May primary, like neutral races for nonpartisan school boards. However, a Nicholas County court winner is accused of stooping to crude partisan tactics.

Gary Johnson has been a Nicholas circuit judge for 23 years - but he was defeated by a mere 220 votes by challenger Stephen Callaghan.

The state Judicial Hearing Board has asked the state Supreme Court to fine Callaghan, to suspend him from practicing law for a year and to prevent him from serving as judge for a year after that because he mailed out election fliers that portrayed his opponent partying with President Obama.

It was a cheap, cynical political trick. It was also deceitful. …

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