Settle governor’s residency issue
The West Virginia Constitution is clear: Our governor and certain other high-ranking state officials are required to reside “at the seat of government” in Charleston. But Gov. Jim Justice continues to live in Lewisburg. Doing so has not hampered his ability to do his job, he maintains.
In a lawsuit that has proceeded by fits and starts since last summer, a House of Delegates member is challenging the governor on where he resides. The matter is being handled by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King.
This week, Justice’s lawyers insisted the lawsuit cannot move forward until and unless the state Supreme Court rules on the question of whether Justice can be compelled to reside in Charleston.
Indeed, that is pertinent. If no court can force Justice to move into the Governor’s Mansion, what is the point of the lawsuit?
Simply this: A much broader question — whether the governor must comply with the state constitution — is in play. One way or another, it needs to be settled.