lukegilman.com : The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Judges and Elections

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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The lede on this story is that Don Blankenship, the chief executive of a large coal mining company in West Virginia $3 million of his own money on tough advertisements attacking a justice of the State Supreme Court who was seeking re-election. That justice lost and the man who won his seat, Brent D. Benjamin, subsequently refused to recuse himself and cast the deciding vote in 3-to-2 majority that threw out a $50 million jury verdict against Mr. Blankenship’s company, Massey Energy.

My favorite line in the article surely made more sense in whatever context Mr. Blankenship originally meant it, but cracked me up nonetheless:

“When you’ve got to choose between a guy who released a pedophile and a coal executive, it’s a tossup,” he said.

This will be a case worth watching not only for its effect on the willingness of elected judges to recuse themselves but also the ripple effect on judicial campaigns across the country.

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