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West Virginia NAACP calls for Morrisey’s removal and disbarment

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Chapter of the NAACP and its supporters are calling for the removal and disbarment of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for his participation in a lawsuit that called into the question the integrity of votes cast in other states during the 2020 general election.

The WV NAACP put out a press release and held a virtual press conference Tuesday to detail its concerns and plan of action.

The organization called Morrisey’s actions “racist, unethical and un-American efforts to disenfranchise voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia.”

On Dec. 9, Morrisey, a Republican, entered West Virginia into a lawsuit intended to undermine the U.S. Constitution and to violate the 15th Amendment of the Constitution that gave Black Americans citizenship and the right to vote, the NAACP’s press release said.

“Attorney General Morrisey has shown he will not fulfill his obligation to provide fair and equal justice for citizens of all races in West Virginia,” the release said. “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey must be removed from office and barred from practicing law.

“WV legislators who support equal justice will present a resolution calling for Attorney General Morrisey’s removal and disbarment in the upcoming legislative session,” the release said.

The NAACP’s release also included statements from WV NAACP officials, state lawmakers and others. Many condemned involving West Virginia in a lawsuit they feel was meant to disenfranchise voters, especially minority voters, in other states who did not support Republican candidates. They viewed the attempt as a means of undermining the electoral process and disenfranchise millions of voters as well as part of the reason the U.S. Capitol was stormed last week by pro-Trump supporters who felt the election was being unduly taken from their candidate

“The WV NAACP contends that WV State Attorney General Morrisey’s action by joining in the lawsuit in trying to overturn the presidential election was intended to disenfranchise the Black votes in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia,” said Owens Brown, WV NAACP state president.

In Tuesday’s press conference, conducted via Zoom, Brown said Morrisey’s actions attempted to violate the constitutional rights of United States citizens. The states targeted in this “illegal and unethical” lawsuit were all states where minority voters helped deliver the victory to President-elect Joe Biden and removing those votes would have subverted the election process and help deliver a victory to President Donald Trump, he said.

“The indirect ulterior motive of the 17 state Attorney Generals, in an attempt to achieve their goals, was the nullification of millions of Black citizens’ votes in the cities of Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta,” Brown said. “The West Virginia NAACP contends it was a direct assault on the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution that gave Black people the right to vote.”

Del. Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, felt the lawsuit Morrisey was a part of involved the state in “a frivolous attempt” to undermine the electoral process.

Morrisey responded to the allegations in a statement issued Tuesday, saying he felt it was his job, as Attorney General, to address and investigate these concerns in order to maintain citizen confidence in the election process.

“I strongly condemned violence at the U.S. Capitol as it happened Jan. 6 and continue to do so,” Morrisey said. “It’s absolutely wrong for these radical, far-left delegates and their allies to make allegations out of thin air and try to politicize the death of a brave law enforcement official and other individuals.

“Our December brief sought to fully investigate allegations that several states had not properly interpreted their own laws as they conducted their elections. It’s absolutely appropriate for a state attorney general to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to get the law right — holding free and fair elections should be one of the most important goals of our republic. That’s what that brief focused on.”

(Dunlap can be contacted at at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com)

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