Judge kills motion to define ‘reside’ in gov residency case

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A lawsuit over whether West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice must live in the state capital may be headed to the state Supreme Court.

News outlets report Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King last week defended the lawsuit by Democratic Del. Isaac Sponaugle.

He also denied a motion by Justice’s lawyers to certify questions for the state Supreme Court of Appeals to answer before the case can proceed, including defining the word “reside.” Sponaugle wants Justice to live in Charleston, per the state constitution that says governors should “reside at the seat of the government.”

Justice’s lawyers have argued “reside” has vague meaning. Justice’s attorneys have said they would appeal King’s refusal to dismiss the case, but a Supreme Court spokeswoman said Friday that no appeal has been received.

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