don blankenship

Court packing in coal country

January 24, 2019 - Legislators in Kentucky and West Virginia are discussing constitutional amendments to give governors unprecedented control over choosing judges, who are currently elected. The moves are part of a broader trend of Republican politicians asserting more control over the judiciary.

Making sense of the chaotic West Virginia Supreme Court impeachment

August 17, 2018 - The entire West Virginia Supreme Court — already in the crosshairs of corporate special interests — was recently impeached by the Republican-controlled state House for overspending, lavish renovations, and, in the case of one justice, criminal corruption charges. But Democrats see what's happening as a GOP power grab that comes amid a broader trend of conservative attacks on the judiciary.

Secret-money courts group accused of libel in Arkansas

May 18, 2018 - An Arkansas judge blocked an election ad by the conservative Judicial Crisis Network attacking a state Supreme Court judge, citing libel concerns. If the group, which spends millions to influence state and federal courts, appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, its spending would present an ethical dilemma for Justice Neil Gorsuch.

On North Carolina's high court, corruption worse than West Virginia?

October 18, 2013 - A redistricting lawsuit has landed in the N.C. Supreme Court, where plaintiffs are seeking the recusal of Justice Paul Newby because his 2012 re-election campaign got much of its support from the same GOP group involved in drawing the new political maps. They cite a similar case out of West Virginia that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled for recusal.