W.Va. SC candidate says high court should deny motion to intervene

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 15, 2012, 7:15am



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Supreme Court candidate Allen Loughry says the plaintiff in a federal case over the state's Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program has "no constitutional rights" to intervene in a separate but related lawsuit filed in the state's high court.

Supreme Court candidate Allen Loughry filed his 13-page response to Charleston attorney Michael Callaghan's motion to intervene late Tuesday.

Callaghan, the plaintiff in a federal case filed last month over the pilot program and former chairman of the state Democratic Party, filed his motion with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Thursday.

In it, he notes that no party in the state case will stand in defense of his constitutional rights.

"Accordingly, the representation of Callaghan's interests by existing parties is not only inadequate, it is non-existent," wrote his attorney, Anthony Majestro of Charleston firm Powell and Majestro PLLC. Majestro also serves as state Supreme Court candidate Tish Chafin's campaign attorney.

Callaghan's motion came nearly a week after Loughry filed his own motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit over the pilot program, which was established in 2010 for candidates seeking a seat on the state's high court.

Loughry, a Republican, is the only candidate in this year's Court race to opt into the program, which state lawmakers passed in an attempt to reduce the influence of special interest money.

"This mandamus proceeding involves a straightforward, narrow question: whether Petitioner is entitled to public campaign funds because a non-participating candidate has met the statutory conditions that prompt the disbursement of such funds under the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program," Loughry wrote in his response.

"Movant claims a right to intervene because, he asserts, no existing party 'will stand in defense of (his) constitutional rights.' But Movant has no constitutional rights that could be affected here."

To read the rest of this story, visit the West Virginia Record.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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