AP: Chief Justice Benjamin to Appoint McHugh Monday

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Some say whoever fills the shoes left by West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Joseph Albright has big shoes to fill.

Justice Albright passed away Friday night after complications from esophageal cancer.

The seventy-year old had been on leave from the bench since September and Justice Thomas McHugh had been filling in.

The Associated Press reports Chief Justice Brent Benjamin will appoint McHugh on Monday to serve in Albright's place until Governor Joe Manchin appoints someone to serve until the next general election in 2010.

Walt Auvil, a member of the West Virginia Association for Justice and the chair of the Wood County Democratic Party said "Justice Albright was not someone who's vote you could count on going one particular way in all cases. He certainly decided things based on the law and as he saw the law and was very good about applying the law and we certainly would hope that in looking at that that's the type of justice that would follow in those type of footsteps."

Manchin's office told the Associated Press a seven person committee will interview candidates and advise the governor but no one said how long this could take.

Justice Albright's term was set to end in 2012. So the person who is elected in 2010 will have to run again in 2012 if he or she wants to stay on the bench.

The photo attached to this article is from the Supreme Court of Appeals Web site at http://www.state.wv.us/WVSCA/albright.htm.

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