Oversight: Voters should vote yes on Amendment 2

Only one state in the entire nation, West Virginia, allows the judicial branch of government to spend taxpayers’ money with no legislative oversight. Events this year have made it obvious that needs to change.

Voters in the Nov. 6 election have an opportunity to make that happen, by casting ballots for constitutional Amendment 2.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel endorses Amendment 2. It is worth noting that change is also supported by most current members of the state Supreme Court.

Adoption of the amendment would preserve separation of powers, while placing a check on runaway spending by the high court.

Examples of the need for such oversight were everywhere when lawmakers toured the Supreme Court’s extravagantly renovated — and personalized –offices a few months back. For goodness sake, five people managed to spend $114,788 on picture frames over seven years. The blatant thumbing of their collective noses at taxpayers was a clear indicator of a judiciary that believed itself above the law.

In fact, the court ruled as much, claiming, “The Supreme Court has Exclusive Jurisdiction to Determine Whether a Judicial Officer’s Conduct Violates a Canon of the Code of Judicial Conduct;” and that the state Constitution “unquestionably provides this Court with the sole constitutional authority to promulgate rules for the judicial system, and demands that those rules have the force of law.”

It is time for that to change.

Casting ballots for Amendment 2 is the prudent — and long overdue — move for Mountain State taxpayers.