Due Process: Davis’ political stunt ignores accountability

In choosing to step down from her position as a justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Monday, Robin Jean Davis robbed herself of the due process of law she claimed has been missing from the legislative proceedings that led to her impeachment for a range of concerns — perhaps the most serious being overpayment of senior status judges in violation of state code.

That process would have taken place in the state Senate, where Davis would have had an opportunity to be represented by legal counsel in defending herself.

Instead Davis chose to pull a political stunt, while accusing members of the House of Delegates of pulling a political stunt.

To be fair, her move does give the people of West Virginia the chance to vote in November for her replacement. But to imply that the impeachment process is a “plot” to supersede the will of the people is misleading at best.

When Davis and her fellow justices were elected, the voters expected they were sending justices to Charleston who would obey the law and conduct themselves in office in a manner that served the people of the Mountain State, not themselves.

Meanwhile, though Davis was supposed to have been serving in a non-partisan position, she repeatedly made reference to “the majority party” as essentially being out to get her, in the statement she released when she resigned. The fact is, delegates of BOTH parties voted to approve the articles of impeachment against which Davis is railing.

Davis and her fellow justices appear to have been living in their own world. Rather than allow politics as usual to continue as it has for generations in Charleston, members of the House of Delegates decided it was time to let the state Senate take a look at whether those justices’ actions warranted their removal from office.

Davis decided she would rather not go through that process.

Voters will have a chance, in November, to vote now for at least two new members of the state Supreme Court — justices they will once again trust to obey the law and act as responsible public servants.

Despite her motives, Davis’s advice to West Virginians rings no less true: to “watch this legislative process very carefully and to vote in November.”

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