(In case you've been frying other fish, the Republican majority in the WV House of Delegates voted to impeach all remaining members of the court, in effect blowing up an entire branch of state government. This could potentially let Republican Governor Jim Justice stack the deck until 2020.)
If you don't want to recap the whole thing blow by blow, there's a pretty good summary in Slate that doesn't get in the weeds. Of course, there is a lot of great local journalism going on by reporters like the Gazette-Mail's Jack Zuckerman and Lacie Peterson and MetroNews' Brad McIlhenny if you want the whole rundown.
My short take is that while all the remaining justices (one resigned and another retired during the mess) have been lavish in spending, only one really calls out for impeachment, to wit Allen Loughry of $32,000 couchgate fame, who is facing federal charges. The one who resigned, Menis Ketchum, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
Here's the lead from the Slate piece:
What the hell is going on in West Virginia? On Monday, the House of Delegates impeached the entire state Supreme Court on charges focusing on the justices’ lavish spending on office refurbishments. Republicans, who led the drive to oust the whole bench, insisted the court was irredeemably corrupt. Many Democrats countered that GOP legislators were staging a coup to seize control of the judiciary. One justice, Robin Davis, resigned rather than allow herself to be removed, proclaiming that the impeachment push was a “disaster for the rule of law” and an attempt by the legislature “to dismantle a separate branch of government.”
While Davis isn’t wrong, the court isn’t wholly blameless either. Republicans are attempting to stack it—but the justices made that task easy by engaging in conduct ranging from questionable to certainly illegal. Republicans are citing the serious allegations against two justices to justify removing all four, and they have timed their attacks to ensure that Republican Gov. Jim Justice, rather than West Virginia voters, will be able to select their replacements, thereby dragging the court far to the right.At last count, nine people have applied for interim seats on the court. The next stop for impeachment proceedings is the state senate, where the games will presumably begin next month.
All of which is yet another reason to change the state motto from "Mountaineers are always free" to "You can't make this **** up."