CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Supreme Court said Republican Gov. Jim Justice acted within his right when he appointed a lawmaker to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates.
The high court said in a filing this month that Justice had not erred in naming Republican Del. Joshua Booth to the 19th delegate district in Wayne County.
GOP officials from the county unsuccessfully sued to block the appointment after they alleged Justice intervened to pick Booth over the recommendations of local Republicans.
The seat was formerly held by Derrick Evans, who resigned after being charged with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol in the Jan. 6 riot with a mob of Donald Trump supporters.
The court, which had already rejected the challenge to the appointment in February, explained in a new filing that Republicans from the district did not follow the right process in nominating candidates for the seat.
The nominations had to be made by the GOP organization of the 19th district, which extends beyond Wayne County. Instead, it was the county GOP that sent a letter to the governor with three nominees.
“There is no statutory authorization for such a group to have a role in filling a vacancy for a public office,” the court said.