Justices should not shy away from issue

Justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court have endured more than their share of controversy during the past few months. They should not shy away from tackling another issue that has stirred acrimony in Charleston — whether the governor is required to live in Charleston.

House of Delegates member Isaac Sponaugle, D-pendleton, has filed two petitions seeking a ruling on the matter. He believes the state constitution requires the governor and other top state officials to reside in the capital.

Gov. Jim Justice does not. He continues to live in Lewisburg. Justice insists he is in Charleston much of the time, is in through modern technology, and has never been absent from Charleston when his presence was required.

Sponaugle’s first petition was rejected by the Supreme Court. Then, this week, his second attempt was turned down, too

Justices did not explain their decision, other than to issue a two-paragraph order noting Sponaugle’s request had been refused.

Regardless of how one feels about Justice, the issue of whether he — or any other governor — should be required to reside in Charleston is important. At some point, it needs to be settled, and that will require the state’s highest court to take on the controversy.