The Charleston Gazette has a long and proud tradition as a crusading newspaper. Our late publisher, W.E. "Ned" Chilton III coined the phrase "sustained outrage" and insisted the Gazette live up to that motto with long-term coverage of important issues facing West Virginia and the nation.
The mission of the "Gazette Watchdog" is simple: To carry on that tradition. We make a commitment to our readers to serve as a public watchdog over government, business, and other powerful entities in West Virginia society, to ensure that the public interest is protected.
Judicial emergencies have increased by 140 percent during the Obama administration, the study noted. Here are some other findings:
• President Obama has nominated candidates to fill twenty-five of the forty-eight seats considered Judicial Emergencies.
•He has nominated candidates to seven of the ten circuit court emergencies and eighteen of the thirty-eight district court emergencies.
• Eleven of President Obama’s nominees who would fill judicial emergencies are currently awaiting confirmation votes on the Senate floor.
• Unfilled circuit court vacancies cause sitting circuit court judges to each handle an additional 52 to 276 filings per year, depending on the district, increasing already burdened judges’ workload by up to 30%.
• Unfilled district court vacancies cause sitting district court judges to each handle an additional 48 to 1,070 filings per year, depending on the district, increasing already burdened judges’ workload by up to 400%.
• Circuit court seats considered emergencies have been vacant for an average of 588 days.
• District court seats considered emergencies have been vacant for an average of 624 days.
• Nominees to circuit court seats considered emergencies have been pending for an average of 199 days.
• Nominees to district court seats considered emergencies have been pending for an average of 150 days.