CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - An author and law clerk for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is seeking a seat on the bench as an "independent voice."

Allen Loughry announced Wednesday he is running for the Supreme Court in 2012 as an independent.

A lawyer with four law degrees from American University, University of London and Capital University, Loughry also studied law at Oxford University, Loughry has worked as a lawyer for the West Virginia Supreme Court for the past eight years. Prior to working at the Supreme Court, Loughry was a Senior Assistant Attorney General arguing more than 20 cases before the state's high court.

"In order to have a justice system that is not influenced by the legislative and executive branches or by pressure from special interest groups, you must have an independent judiciary," the 40-year-old Loughry said. "I have spent my entire career trying to make West Virginia citizens safer and hold criminals accountable."

Loughry says people want politicians to belong to a political party because they want their representatives to argue philosophical ideas. But he says those same people want their judiciary to be independent.

"I want this candidacy to change that idea in West Virginia," he said. "It's time. We're one of a handful of states left that have purely partisan elections. It's time for an independent judiciary."

He said the justification for an independent judiciary goes back to colonial times.

To view the entire article, visit the West Virginia Record.

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