Harman wants U.S. Supreme Court to remove West Virginia judge from case

The extent of the influence of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's money soon may be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The owner of a bankrupt coal company, Hugh Caperton, says the High Court should decide if state Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin should have stayed on the bench when Massey's appeal of a $50 million verdict in favor of Caperton's company proved successful.

Caperton's petition, recently obtained by The West Virginia Record, asks the Justices to answer a question: If Benjamin's refusal to recuse himself violated Harman Mining's 14th Amendment right to due process.

The motion seeking disqualification comes over three years after the 2004 election and focuses entirely on that election. It contains nothing about this Justice's record on the Court.”

— Brent Benjamin