May 1, 2008

Bob Bastress: by Far the Best Qualified for Supreme Court of West Virginia

clipped from
Bastress, Ketchum tops in Supreme Court survey

Supreme Court hopefuls Bob Bastress and Menis Ketchum fared best among West Virginia lawyers quizzed about the 2008 judicial candidates.

Chief Justice "Elliott'' Spike Maynard received the lowest overall score, and also elicited more responses than any other candidate in the survey.

More than 1,620 lawyers, about 35 percent of the West Virginia Bar's membership, rated candidates for Supreme Court and circuit judge in the Bar's latest survey.

Bastress, a West Virginia University law professor, and Ketchum, a Huntington lawyer, each rated "good'' for their overall qualifications for office.

The survey asked lawyers to rank the candidates from "outstanding'' to "poor'' in such categories as legal ability, diligence, decisiveness and courtesy to others.

With this story last week the Charleston Gazette presented some of the strongest evidence to narrow the field for West Virginia Supreme Court Justice, which demonstrates by peer judgment who is most qualified in the race, measured by some very important standards.

And with this podcast below from West Virginia Public Broadcasting, in an investigative article by reporter Scott Finn, Ketchum's claims and record are brought into the light, showing his own claims to be more of the "mumbo jumbo" he claims to run against:

Ketchum’s claim not supported by evidence - [Podcast link] 4/23
By Scott Finn

A survey of lawyers by the WV State Bar rated the candidates for WV Supreme Court. Coming out on top were WVU law professor Bob Bastress and Huntington lawyer Menis Ketchum. Incumbent “Spike” Maynard ranked last, doing especially poorly on the question about “integrity, moral courage and impartiality.” The other candidates have escaped media scrutiny, but recently, Ketchum has made claims about his court experience that don’t seem to be true. (5:23) audio Transcript pdf file

This leaves Bob Bastress, whose key expertise and credentials are below, standing head and shoulders above the rest, and who is the most unbias, non-political candidate whose expertise in the West Virginia Constitution--which through the Supreme Court keeps in check the powers of legislature and Governor--would restore objective and scholarly impartiality into a Supreme Court held now in the sway of political maneuvering.

Bob Bastress, a candidate for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, is best known as Professor of Law. He has been a faculty member at West Virginia University College of Law since 1978. Professor Bastress is an authority on Constitutional Law, focusing special attention on the First Amendment and the West Virginia Constitution. Courses he has taught include Constitutional Law, Labor and Employment law, Local Government Law, and Legal Skills. Bob Bastress presently serves as the John W. Fisher, II Professor of Law.

Professor Bastress has written the only book published to date that focuses on the West Virginia Constitution, a nationally prominent textbook on counseling and negotiating, textbooks for his courses on West Virginia Constitutional Law and on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and numerous other professional publications.

(website) BOB BASTRESS for Supreme Court Justice