Loughry takes oath as WV's newest Supreme Court justice - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Loughry takes oath as WV's newest Supreme Court justice

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Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
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An estimated 190 people filled a packed courtroom to welcome West Virginia's newest justice Allen Loughry as he took his oath of office Dec. 14.

Loughry was elected Nov. 6 to a 12-year term on the bench left vacant from the retirement of Justice Thomas McHugh. Loughry's term starts Jan. 1.

"The next generation needs to know that they count and they matter and they can make a positive change for West Virginia," Loughry said after the ceremony. "This is not my day. This is our day."

Loughry's wife, Kelly, and their son, Justus, attended the ceremony.

"Now you're a Justus, and I'm a justice," Loughry said after the court presented Justus Loughry with his own robe.

"I think there is room for one more Justus Loughry," Justus Loughry said at the end of the ceremony. 

Each justice congratulated Loughry and said they looked forward to serving with him.

Reflecting on his years of service, McHugh said his career has been rewarding, adding, "I'm sure it will be rewarding for you too."

"We're all going to miss Mr. McHugh. You have big shoes to fill," Justice Brent Benjamin said. "You're a wonderful asset to the court, and you will fit in just right."

Loughry, a Charleston resident, served as a law clerk for the West Virginia Supreme Court since 2003. He obtained four law degrees and wrote his book "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," detailing corruption in West Virginia politics.

"I'm giving up a law clerk today. I've really come to know him and his beautiful family," Justice Margaret Workman said. "During your campaign, I was so proud of you. You ran a clean campaign."

Justice Robin Jean Davis, who won her re-election bid alongside Loughry in the November elections, also commended Loughry on his campaign.

"There have been two candidates who were upbeat about the court," she said. "Allen was one of those candidates. Thank you for your efforts on your campaign trail and talking about the court in a positive way."

Chief Justice Menis Ketchum also congratulated Loughry and joked that Loughry had once said he didn't have any skeletons in his closet. 

"But when I went to your closet upstairs, I found this," he said pulling out a model skeleton.

"You will be a great justice, even with this skeleton," Ketchum later said.

Loughry thanked the justices and his friends and family in attendance. He said his win proves one thing.

"You don't have to tear people down to win an election in the state of West Virginia."