W.Va. High Court Pauses Senate Appointment Until Ruling

Jan 16, 2016

Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

The state Supreme Court is suspending an appointment to a key Senate opening until the court rules whether a Democrat or Republican should fill the seat.

The court issued the stay on Friday.

Earlier Friday, Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey asked the court for the delay.

The court will hear oral arguments about ex-Sen. Daniel Hall's replacement Tuesday.

The former Wyoming County lawmaker was elected a Democrat in 2012 and turned Republican after the 2014 elections, breaking a tie for an 18-16 GOP majority. Hall recently resigned.

State law is ambiguous about replacing someone who flipped parties.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's court filings say he would have appointed a Democrat because it upholds the will of the voters.

A ruling that favors Democrats would deadlock the Senate.