Justice Evan Jenkins to be Chief Justice in 2021, Josh Hutchinson in 2022

Justice Jenkins will begin his term on January 1, 2021.
Justice Jenkins will begin his term on January 1, 2021.(WDTV)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 4:39 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Justice Evan Jenkins will be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals in West Virginia.

Justice Jenkins will begin his term on January 1, 2021.

The Supreme Court of Appeals says they have also designated Justice John Hutchison to serve as Chief Justice in 2022. Hutchinson will serve as the Acting Chief Justice in 2021 when Chief Justice Jenkins isn’t able to participate in a case.

“I am truly humbled to be chosen Chief Justice by the other members of the Court, and it will be my honor to lead the judicial branch in service to the citizens of West Virginia in the coming year,” Justice Jenkins said. “I will continue Chief Justice Tim Armstead’s excellent work to ensure the courts of the state remain open and accessible during this unprecedented pandemic and Justice Walker’s leadership in 2019 to champion the reforms that were so desperately needed at our state’s highest Court.

“I also hope to build upon the Court’s efforts to make the judicial system more open and transparent,” Justice Jenkins said. “The Rule of Law upon which our country is founded depends on the public’s confidence in their government institutions. We have done much in the last two years to restore confidence in our Supreme Court, and we will continue to work hard every day to earn the public’s trust.”

Justice Hutchison said, “It has been a joy and the greatest honor of my life to serve on the Supreme Court. I have spent most of my adult life in public service and I look forward to serving the state in a new way, as Chief Justice, in 2022.”

Chief Justice Armstead’s term as current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals in West Virginia will end on December 31, 2020. He says, “it has been a challenging year to serve as Chief Justice. I appreciate very much my fellow justices’ friendship and cooperation and that of our dedicated court staff as well as judges throughout the state. We have truly worked as a team. Our court system is made up of talented, resourceful and dedicated professionals who have proven they are up to the challenge.”

Justice Jenkins was appointed to the court by Governor Jim Justice in August 2018 and took the oath of office on October 1. Jenkins was elected in November 2018 to fill the vacated seat when Justice Robin Davis retired. That term was set to end on December 31, 2024.

When Jenkins was appointed, he was a member of the United States House of Representatives. He represented citizens of the Third Congressional District in West Virginia. He also served on the House Appropriations Committee and most recently as the Vice-Chairman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Sub-Committee.

Justice Hutchinson was appointed to the court in December 2018 by Governor Justice. He was elected in June 2020 with a term ending on December 31, 2024.

Before that, Hutchinson was appointed to the bench in the Tenth Judicial Circuit in Raleigh County. He was also a member of the Supreme Court’s Mass Litigation Panel and was a judicial representative on the Commission to Study Residential Placement of Children.

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