Home Menu ↓
Clicking on our sponsor links helps insure continued free access to this website.
Please support our efforts by visiting our sponsors:

 

Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc.

Docket No.: 08-22
Certiorari Granted: Nov 14 2008
Argued: March 3, 2009
Decided: June 8, 2009

PartyNames: Hugh M. Caperton, et al. v. A.T. Massey Coal Company, Inc., et al.
Petitioner: Hugh Caperton
Respondent: A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc.

Court Below: Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Hugh Caperton
v.
A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc.
Question Presented:

Justice Brent Benjamin of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia refused to recuse himself from the appeal of the §50 million jury verdict in this case, even though the CEO of the lead defendant spent §3 million supporting his campaign for a seat on the court--more than 60% of the total amount spent to support Justice Benjamin's campaign-- while preparing to appeal the verdict against his company. After winning election to the court, Justice Benjamin cast the deciding vote in the court's 3-2 decision overturning that verdict. The question presented is whether Justice Benjamin's failure to recuse himself from participation in his principal financial supporter's case violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Question:

Did Justice Brent Benjamin's failure to recuse himself from participation in a case where one of the parties donated $3 million to his election campaign violate the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment?

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 5-4
Opinion By: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
Read CAPERTON V. A.T. MASSEY COAL CO., INC. opinion (PDF)
Database Connection failed: SQLSTATE[HY000] [1045] Access denied for user 'restauz8_sophi'@'localhost' (using password: YES)