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WV Supreme Court May 2010 Primary

Candidates for Justice of the WV Supreme Court of Appeals

May 11, 2010 Primary Election

OFFICE Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals

CANDIDATE NAME Thomas E. McHugh

COUNTY Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Thomas E. McHugh has been a Justice for seventeen years and a Circuit Judge for six years. He was born in Charleston, is a graduate of WVU (AB and Law) and was in the US Army. He is married and has four children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

QUESTION 1. What standards regarding recusal would you recommend to avoid the appearance of judicial conflict of interest?

ANSWER

Our West Virginia recusal language is clear, and I strictly follow it. The recusal issue has heightened national interest. The ABA’s Standing Committee on Judicial Independence is working on revisions to its Judicial Disqualification Project as part of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The Conference of Chief Justices has no official position on the report.

QUESTION 2. How would you respond to the allegations that West Virginia has a judicial climate that is hostile to business?

ANSWER

No judge should be concerned about whether or not any ruling is good for any one interest. A judge must be fair and impartial to all. People who are interested in fairness in our courts don’t want judges who color their rulings for any particular group. A judicial climate should not be hostile to anyone.

OFFICE Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals

CANDIDATE NAME John Yoder

COUNTY Jefferson

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Thirty-five years legal experience in all three branches of government. Five years as a circuit judge and two years working for the Chief Justice of the U.S; eight years as a WV State Senator; three years as Reagan appointee in the U.S. Department of Justice. BA, MBA, and JD degrees.

QUESTION 1. What standards regarding recusal would you recommend to avoid the appearance of judicial conflict of interest?

ANSWER

Stricter recusal standards are needed when lawyers and litigants give money to the campaigns of judges and justices. A panel of retired judges should be appointed by Supreme Court justices to decide whether justices should be recused from sitting on a case, rather than letting each individual justice decide.

QUESTION 2. How would you respond to the allegations that West Virginia has a judicial climate that is hostile to business?

ANSWER

Allegations that the climate is hostile to business need to be taken seriously because that perception is causing our State to lose jobs and businesses. We need to positively change our Court’s image rather than defending the status quo and ingrained Charleston political class that is now in charge.

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