W.Va. Supreme Court Justice Workman to retire

Workman sat as Chief Justice for Wednesday’s hearing.
Chief Justice Margaret Workman addresses lawmakers over an audit of Supreme Court spending.
Chief Justice Margaret Workman addresses lawmakers over an audit of Supreme Court spending.(WSAZ)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A member of West Virginia’s Supreme Court will be retiring at the end of 2020.

A release from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals says Justice Margaret Workman sat as Chief Justice on the Supreme Court bench to hear arguments on Wednesday for the final hearing in her term.

Justice Workman has served as Chief Justice five times: in 1993, 1997, 2011, 2015, and 2018. When discussing her final appearance as Chief Justice, Workman said, “I appreciate that generous and kind offer. After 31 years, I’m ready for retirement. But it is an honor to sit here again.”

Workman served as a Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge for seven years after being appointed by then-Gov. Jay Rockefeller in 1981. Workman was then the first woman elected to the State Supreme Court in 1988.

“Justice Workman has a long and dedicated career as a Kanawha County Circuit Judge and as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals,” said Chief Justice Armstead. “Her work on behalf of the children of our State has been remarkable. She has eliminated barriers and served as an example and encouragement to many young women. I have enjoyed her friendship and collegiality while serving with her on the Court and wish her the very best as she begins her well-deserved retirement.”

Justice Jenkins said, “I have a deep respect and appreciation for the service she has brought to the court and the people of West Virginia. She will be sorely missed but her legacy will be felt for generations to come.”

Justice John Hutchison recalled meeting Justice Workman when he was an attorney and appeared in her courtroom when she was a Kanawha County Circuit Judge, “I recognized you were a force to be dealt with. I was not surprised, based on my very first encounter with you, that you smashed the glass ceiling for women in the state of West Virginia.”

The release says Workman’s terms as Chief Justice was focused on improving the judicial system budget process, rehabilitation services for juveniles, and magistrate court facilities.

Workman’s current term ends on Dec. 31.

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