University of West Virginia Law Professor Bob Bastress is seeking one of the two Democratic Party nominations for State Supreme Court Justice, in the May 6 primary. Bastress has been a professor there for 30 years and has done many pro bono constitutional lawsuits during those years. On April 9, he was endorsed by the Charleston Gazette, the state’s largest newspaper. The members of the State Bar have ranked him as tied for the top, in a survey of all 4,600 members that evaluated all the candidates on legal ability, reasoning ability, impartiality, diligence, courtesy, and integrity.
Bastress has filed 6 lawsuits against various election laws that make ballot access difficult for minor parties and independent candidates, during the last 28 years, and he has won 4 of them. He represented John Anderson, the Libertarian Party, and the Citizens Party, in 1980, when his lawsuit struck down the law that circulators could not work outside their home magisterial district. In 2003, he won a case for the Libertarian Party against a state law that said circulators must tell signers that if the signer signs the petition, they cannot vote in the primary. In 2000, he won a case for the Constitution Party that struck down the filing fee for declared write-in candidates. He has tried twice to overturn the May petition deadline for minor party and independent candidates (for office other than president), but those lawsuits did not win. See his campaign webpage at www.bastressforjustice.com. The race has four candidates, with two to be nominated.
Any voter who is registered “Independent”, or as a member of a party that is not ballot-qualified, is free to choose a Democratic primary ballot this year in West Virginia.