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Jenkins to serve as West Virginia Supreme Court’s chief justice

CHARLESTON — Justice Evan Jenkins will be chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court beginning Jan. 1.

The court also has designated Justice John Hutchison to serve as chief justice in 2022. Hutchison will serve as acting chief justice in 2021 whenever Jenkins is unable to participate in a case before the court.

“I am truly humbled to be chosen Chief justice by the other members of the court, and it will be my honor to lead the judicial branch in service to the citizens of West Virginia in the coming year,” Jenkins said. “I will continue Chief Justice Tim Armstead’s excellent work to ensure the courts of the state remain open and accessible during this unprecedented pandemic and Justice Walker’s leadership in 2019 to champion the reforms that were so desperately needed at our state’s highest Court.

Jenkins also said he hopes hope to build upon the court’s efforts to make the judicial system more open and transparent.

“It has been a joy and the greatest honor of my life to serve on the Supreme Court,” Hutchison said. “I have spent most of my adult life in public service and I look forward to serving the state in a new way, as chief justice in 2022.”

Armstead’s term as chief justice ends Dec. 31. It has been a challenging year, he said.

“I appreciate very much my fellow justices’ friendship and cooperation and that of our dedicated court staff as well as judges throughout the state,” he said. “We have truly worked as a team.”

Jenkins was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jim Justice in 2018 and was elected in November 2018 to the vacancy caused by the retirement of Justice Robin Davis. The term ends in 2024.

Jenkins was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 and 2016 from the 3rd Congressional District.

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