After ruling, West Virginia justice loses union's backing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A union has rescinded its backing of a state Supreme Court candidate after the panel voted to uphold the state’s so-called right-to-work law.

The AFL-CIO’s state chapter announced Wednesday that it had pulled its endorsement of Justice John Hutchison.

In an opinion released Tuesday, the justices overturned a ruling last year by a lower court judge who had struck down some provisions of the 2016 law. Hutchison concurred with the opinion.

The law authorized union employees to stop paying dues and fees or, in lieu of that, make payments to a charity or third party.

The AFL-CIO said in a statement that Hutchison “has put the interests of out-of-state corporations over the interests of West Virginia working families.”

Hutchison, a longtime circuit judge elected as a Democrat, was appointed in 2018 by Republican Gov. Jim Justice to the Supreme Court seat vacated by Allen Loughry. In the June special election, Hutchison is seeking to serve the remainder of Loughry’s term through 2024. State Supreme Court races are nonpartisan.