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US Supreme Court asked to review W.Va. judicial impeachments

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to review a decision that derailed impeachment trials for West Virginia Supreme Court justices.

House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw says the intent of Tuesday’s filing is not to seek permission to restart impeachment proceedings. He says it’s to correct legal errors in the decision.

Several justices were impeached in August over questions involving lavish office renovations that evolved into accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty.

A temporary panel of judges ruled that the impeachment violated the separation-of-powers doctrine and that the Legislature lacked jurisdiction to pursue trials.

The state constitution gives the Legislature the sole power of impeachment. Hanshaw says the earlier opinion “removes virtually all of the constitutional checks and balances we have on the judicial branch of government.”

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