Jan 21, 2008
West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard finally disqualified himself from a case against the coal company Massey Energy because of his personal friendship with Massey’s chief executive.
He did so only after hemming and hawing about photos showing him having dinner with Massey’s CEO, Arthur Blanksenship, in Monte Carlo in July 2006. The two joined up in Monte Carlo right during the time that Judge Maynard was considering Massey’s appeal of a 50- million-dollar jury verdict against the company.
What will happen now that Massey’s boy isn’t on the court to protect the company’s interests? A second justice involved in the case, Brent Benjamin, will stay on the case. He just happens to have received more than three million dollars from the Massey CEO for his election campaign.
The wheels of American justice may turn – but only to grind up the workers’ interests in their gears.