West Virginia: legislature moves to withhold judicial retirement benefits until state supreme court overturns a ruling
Last year’s attempt by the West Virginia legislature to impeach and remove from office several members of the state’s supreme court effectively ended with the supreme court ruled the impeachment proceedings were unconstitutional. (State ex. rel. Workman v. Carmichael) Now members of the legislature have moved to withhold judicial retirement benefits unless that decision is overturned.
Under SB 398 as amended recently by the House Judiciary committee, the payments for retirement benefits would cease unless Workman v. Carmichael is overturned.
Until State ex. rel. Workman v. Carmichael is overturned by the Court, and the Court fully recognizes that it has no legitimate constitutional authority over the powers of impeachment that solely belong to the Legislature, even in the case of limited judicial review, then the Legislature shall not fund the Judges’ Retirement System as set forth in this article.
The lead proponent argues that the move is an effort to check the courts. Opponents claim it violates the separation of power. What Do you Think?