This past December the West Virginia Supreme Court justices issued an order temporarily blocking Howard Strauss' swearing-in as a Berkeley County Commissioner until they could rule on his opponent's claim that Strauss didn't meet constitutional residency requirements. On Tuesday, when they were expected to rule, they postponed it indefinitely instead. This is unacceptable. The court should resolve this matter now.
It has now been three months since Strauss, a Republican, beat Democrat Robert Burkhart by 157 votes. Burkhart challenged the election because the West Virginia Constituion says that two commissioners cannot be "elected from" the same magisterial district.
Now it gets complicated: Strauss and Commissioner D. Wayne Dunham lived in the same district at the time of the election, but Dunham moved from the district earlier this year.
Doesn't matter, Burkhart says, because since Dunham was "elected from" that district, Strauss couldn't legally be elected from it, if both were residents there at the same time.