Late Monday, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted to impeach all four justices on the Supreme Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.
The lawmakers approved 11 articles of impeachment against the justices, and impeached the court as a whole for not enacting policies to prevent wasteful spending, The New York Times reports. In June, Chief Justice Allen Loughry was suspended after being accused of lying to lawmakers and using state property for personal use. He is facing a 23-count federal indictment.
Loughry and another justice, Robin Davis, have been accused of frivolous spending on office renovations, with Loughry purchasing, among other items, a $32,000 couch. Two other justices were charged with overpaying retired justices who filled in for them, and in July, a fifth justice resigned after pleading guilty to fraud for using a state car for personal business.
This now moves to the state Senate, and if the justices are convicted at trial, Gov. Jim Justice (R) will pick their replacements. Most of the justices were elected as Democrats, the Times reports, and Democratic lawmakers are concerned that this is an easy way for the Republican-led legislature to assist Justice in appointing GOP justices. Catherine Garcia