The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register published this editorial on June 4 regarding the separation of powers:

Most West Virginians who were upset and outraged about last year's impeachment summer, involving state Supreme Court members, probably would prefer to forget about it. It is over and done with - except for one critical detail.

Three of the high court's five members were replaced as a result of the scandal. One was convicted of multiple crimes of corruption. Another pleaded guilty. The third resigned rather than face the wrath of state legislators.

But an important issue involving separation of powers between the judicial and legislative branches of government remains unresolved.

Of the two justices from the old court, one, Elizabeth Walker, was impeached by the House of Delegates and tried by the state Senate. Senators acquitted her but agreed to a vote of censure. Walker, now chief justice, seems committed to important reforms on the court.

So does the other carryover justice, Margaret Workman. But a House impeachment vote still hangs over her head. It involves the court's past spending, not criminal accusations.

Workman was to have been tried by the Senate last year, but that plan was halted by a panel of five circuit judges who were sitting as the state Supreme Court. They ruled the trial could not proceed. They based their contention on the doctrines of separation of powers and right to due process.

Legislators have appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As matters involving the courts often do, those regarding the Workman case have moved slowly but steadily. It is unlikely the Supreme Court will act before this fall.

Lawmakers themselves seem to have little or no appetite for another impeachment trial. So why pursue the U.S. Supreme Court appeal regarding Workman?

For the future. Thoughtful West Virginians hope and pray there never again comes a time when legislators feel it necessary to impeach state high court justices. But what if it does?

As matters stand, the ruling last year by the temporary state Supreme Court seems to imply that separation of powers prohibits lawmakers from attempting to remove, or even discipline, justices. That would leave the judicial branch with sole power over its members - and that may be too much separation of powers.

New trail adds much to region

This is an excerpt from an editorial published June 2 in The Daily Independent of Ashland, Kentucky:

The Boyd County Fiscal Court hosted a ceremony Saturday to celebrate the opening (of the Iron Ore Hiking Trail).

We are told the trail at Armco Park is five miles long and quite beautiful. It features benches, walking bridges and overlooks. The trail was made possible by the hard work and persistence of local residents Kenny and Candy Messer along with the volunteer work and donations of many community members.

This includes students, churches, senior centers and other organizations. It of course also includes funding from the state and support from the Fiscal Court.

We see this new trail as a very significant, positive development for Boyd County. It also leads to our bigger picture view on the future for Boyd County - a future we think is incredibly bright when one considers all the great people, assets and resources available here in the county.

The key to realizing this future will be capitalizing on all those assets in a strategic, coordinated way, and that includes capitalizing on the existence of this trail.

Here's why we think the trail is a big deal: it is a great asset for fitness and nature enthusiasts, and some of the most valuable tourism dollars right now are found in the pockets of people who are in to fitness and nature.

They will travel across the country to participate in trail marathons, river walks, etc. This trail puts Boyd on the map when you consider the beauty and expansiveness of Armco Park that already exists. Adding a five mile stretch of trail to that asset? Outstanding.


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