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Judge Yoder announces high court bid

By Staff | Jan 29, 2010


Circuit Judge John Yoder from Jefferson County filed today to run as a Republican for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. A special election is being held this year to fill the remaining 2 years of a 12-year term held by former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Albright, who passed away last year before the end of his term, creating a vacancy on the court.

Yoder is currently a circuit judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit, consisting of Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties. He is the supervising judge in Morgan County. Prior to being elected as a circuit judge in 2008, Judge Yoder was a State Senator for 8 years, representing the 16th Senatorial District.

In announcing his candidacy, Judge Yoder noted that Justice Albright had substantial experience as a legislator before serving on the Supreme Court, and that with his untimely passing, there are no remaining justices on the State Supreme Court with legislative experience.

“I believe it is extremely important to have a justice on the Supreme Court with prior legislative experience who respects the distinction between the legislative and judicial process and to provide balance on the court,” Yoder stated. “As a former legislator who has served in all three branches of government, I recognize and respect the fact that it is the role of the legislature, and not the judiciary, to enact legislation and make social policy. As a justice, I will respect those boundaries while strictly interpreting and upholding the law. At the same time, if legislative actions violate the Constitution, I will not hesitate to uphold the Constitution.”

“At the present time, all 5 justices on the State Supreme Court are from the Charleston-Huntington Corridor, which only accounts for 19 percent of the State’s population,” Yoder added. “It is not the Supreme Court of Charleston, but the Supreme Court of West Virginia. The remaining 81 percent of the State should be represented on the Supreme Court too. That is another major reason that I am running for this position, to help the rest of the State outside of Charleston obtain representation on the Supreme Court.”