Caperton v. Massey Coal Co. Massey Coal Company alleging that Massey fraudulently cancelled a coal supply contract with Harman Mining, resulting in its going out of business. Inwhen the case came before the West Virginia Supreme Court, Caperton petitioned for Justice Benjamin to recuse himself because of Blankenship's contributions during the campaign.

Blankenship also petitioned for Justice Larry Starcher 's recusal due to a perceived public feud in which Starcher allegedly called Blankenship "stupid" Hxrman "a clown," and Minng Starcher of buying a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court. Starcher also refused to withdraw from the case, prompting a lawsuit from Massey Energy over the West Virginia Supreme Copmany recusal procedures.

Justice Starcher eventually recused himself from the case and decided not to run for reelection. Around the same time, Justice Spike Maynard who had also been part of the 3 to 2 majority recused himself when photos of him vacationing with Blankenship in the French Riviera while the case was pending appeared in the media.

Although Maynard was heavily favored to win reelection inthe photos were featured heavily in the campaign and Maynard was defeated in the primary. Represented by former U. Solicitor General Theodore OlsonCaperton filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court arguing that Blankenship's campaign expenditures on behalf of Benjamin's election raised an appearance of partiality on Benjamin's part, and due process required his recusal.

Justice Benjamin countered that he was not biased and that because there was no direct financial or other connection between him and Blankenship, there was no obligation for him to recuse himself.

Justice Anthony M. Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices Scalia, Miningg, and Alito. Lakes Region Water Company Scalia Hsrman filed a separate dissenting opinion.

Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy called the appearance of a conflict of interest so "extreme" that Benjamin's failure to recuse himself Haran a violation of Minign plaintiff's Constitutional right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Kennedy noted that not every campaign contribution by a litigant Australian Gold Bullion Company Melbourne a probability of bias that requires a judge's recusal.

Justice Kennedy wrote, "We conclude that there is a serious risk of actual bias — based on objective and reasonable perceptions — when a person with a personal Harman Mining Company in a particular case had a significant and disproportionate influence in placing the judge on Mininng case by raising funds or directing the judge's election campaign when the case was pending or imminent. Compny holding that Justice Benjamin's participation in the case was a violation of due process, the Court made no finding of Mjning bias by Justice Benjamin: "In other words, based on the facts presented Comlany Caperton, Justice Benjamin conducted a probing search into his actual motives and inclinations; and he found Harman Mining Company to be improper.

We do not question his subjective findings of impartiality and propriety. Nor do we determine whether there was actual bias. In a vigorous dissent, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the majority decision would have dire consequences for "public confidence in judicial impartiality. Chief Justice Roberts noted that previously the Supreme Court had recognized only two situations in which the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause disqualified a judge specifically when the judge has a financial interest in the outcome of the case and when the judge is trying a defendant for criminal contempt in his own court.

Chief Justice Roberts contrasted the objective nature of these situations to the completely subjective inquiry required by the "probability of bias" standard. In a separate dissent, Justice Scalia notes that the uncertainty described by Chief Justice Roberts would permit Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claims asserting judicial bias Mijing all litigated cases in Harman Mining Company least those 39 States that elect their judges.

Holliday replacing Justice Benjamin. On November 12,the West Virginia Supreme Court once again overturned the cases, ruling 4 to 1 that Caperton should have pursued his claims in Virginia under a clause in the contract at issue; Massey Energy is based in Richmond, Virginia. The original case involving contributions to judges on the West Virginia Supreme Court drew national attention and ultimately became the basis for the best-selling novel The Appeal by John Companj.

Legal scholars believe the ramifications from this case could be significant. Michael Zuckerman and Andrey Spektor have written that, taken together with the Court's recent decision in Republican Party of Minnesota v. WhiteHaramn which the Court held that elected judges have a First Amendment right to make their political Minibg known, Caperton "provide[s] the makings of a constitutional crisis.

On the other hand, litigants have a due process right not to face a judge whom a reasonable person may deem biased given his previously advertised views. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. United States Supreme Court case. Daily Op. Weekly Fed. S January 30, The Charleston Gazette. Archived from the original on Retrieved August 26, Massey: what a long, Ckmpany case it's been".

West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Archived from the original on September 28, West Virginia Record. The Associated Press. Massey Resource Page: History of the Case". Justice At Stake. Com;any New York Times. Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Retrieved August 21, March 22, Archived from the original on April 26, Supreme Court finds in favor of Massey".

Retrieved November 13, Associated Press. March 11, Retrieved March 11, CarriganU. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from October Articles with dead external links from November Articles with short description. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Languages Add links. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Mininy. Supreme Court of the United IMning. Oral argument.


Shortly after the Virginia action was filed, on October 29, 1998, Harman Development, Harman Mining, Sovereign and Mr. Caperton, individually, filed the instant action in the Circuit Court of Boone County, West Virginia, against A.T. Massey Coal Company, Inc., Elk Run Coal Company, Inc., Independence Coal Company, Inc., Mar Fork Coal Company, Inc., Performance Coal Company, and Massey Coal ...…


Harman mining was a large scale company, The largest in the county in the early days. They mined the Splashdam Seam, which varies from 8 feet, to 3 feet in thickness. Most is 3 feet. Wellmore's Apollo mine is still running, and it was a Harman mine, 1AA. The mine has been running since 1972, if ……

Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. - Wikipedia

Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co., 556 U.S. 868 ... In 1998, Harman Mining Company president Hugh Caperton filed a lawsuit against A.T. Massey Coal Company alleging that Massey fraudulently cancelled a coal supply contract with Harman Mining, resulting in its going out of business.Citations: 556 U.S. 868 (more)129 S. Ct. 2252; 173 L. ……