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Objections to Supreme Court picks can be filed during 20-day period

The clock is ticking on the time period to file objections to a pair of high-profile judicial appointments in West Virginia. (WCHS/WVAH)

The clock is ticking on the time period to file objections to a pair of high-profile judicial appointments in West Virginia.

Gov. Jim Justice has named former House Speaker Tim Armstead and U.S. Congressman Evan Jenkins to the state Supreme Court. But there is a 20-day period in which protests can be filed before they officially join the bench.

If anyone has an objection to Armstead or Jenkins serving on the court, they have until Sept. 19 to issue a challenge to the governor's appointments.

Following the governor's announcement of the appointees, critics lashed out, saying Justice appointed two partisan Republicans to replace a pair of legally elected Democrats. Armstead and Jenkins are slated to replace retired justices Menis Ketchum and Robin Davis.

During remarks Saturday, Justice pointed out the conservative nature of his selections. Jenkins said that is not a signal the selections were purely partisan and that the court can use what he brings to the table.

"Conservatism shouldn't be a partisan label. I am a proud conservative, fiscally responsible. Look what has happened in our highest court in the way in which they've spent money, mismanaged the taxpayer dollars. We need a level of conservatism in our highest court to make sure that we are good stewards of the taxpayers dollars in the judicial system," Jenkins told Eyewitness News.

While Armstead has already resigned from the House of Delegates, Jenkins has yet to officially step down from his congressional seat. It is thought that he will wait to see if his challenges to his appointment are filed, before taking that final step in September. If, and when, Jenkins steps down, West Virginia's 3rd District seat would remain vacant until the new Congress convenes in January next year. The office would remain open, however, to take calls from constituents.

While West Virginia's Constitution allows the governor to make appointments to the U.S. Senate, that does not apply to members of the House of Representatives, who must be elected in order to serve.

Republican Carol Miller and Democrat Richard Ojeda are vying to represent the 3rd District in the House.

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