W.Va. Supreme Court Justice Evan Jenkins stepping down effective Sunday

West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Evan Jenkins announced Friday he would be stepping down from the court effective Feb. 6, 2022.

A press release from Gov. Jim Justice said Jenkins will return to private practice.

“The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will immediately begin the process of filling this vacancy with an appointee to serve as a justice until the people of West Virginia elect a new justice,” the press release notes. “Jenkins served in the West Virginia House of Delegates, State Senate, United States House of Representatives, and then on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia as Chief Justice.”

Here is Jenkins’ full resignation letter:

Dear Governor Justice:

It has been my distinct privilege and honor to serve the great people of West Virginia these past four years as a Justice and Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court. I am grateful for the opportunity you and the voters of West Virginia gave me to make a positive contribution to the state through the judicial system.

I joined the Supreme Court with a clear and specific promise to work every day to fix the problems of the past, follow the Constitution, and restore the public’s trust in our highest court.

Working with my fellow jurists who deserve much credit for their leadership and dedicated public service, we restored fiscal discipline and put policies in place to ensure the past misconduct never happens again. We returned $10 million to address taxpayer needs and cut our budget by millions of dollars from five years ago. We expanded our family and veterans’ treatment programs, implemented a new civility oath for lawyers, started the “And Justice for All” educational video series, and created safer access to the courts for rape and domestic violence victims.

Our progress would also not have been possible without the support of my professional staff and the 1,500 dedicated judicial employees throughout West Virginia; many of whom I was able to personally thank when I visited all 55 counties this past summer, that work ·tirelessly to ensure our courts are fair and accessible to all.

I am confident now that stability and reform have been achieved.

My public and community service has always been about fighting for a better West Virginia, and I truly believe our state’s future has never been brighter. After a great deal of prayer and careful consideration with my family, I have decided to return to the practice of law and put my years of state and federal experience to work promoting job­-creating economic development projects and championing the issues I so deeply believe will benefit the people of West Virginia. Therefore, I have decided to step down from the court on February 6, 2022.

With deep appreciation, Evan H. Jenkins

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