P.R. Stunt

Lawsuit must be settled in the courts

Evidently, Gov. Jim Justice just doesn’t get it. The issue over where he resides is not about West Virginia’s economy. It is not about whether the governor can find a Bible verse to use at a press conference.

It’s about the state constitution — what the courts say it means and whether West Virginia’s chief executive has to comply with it.

Justice has been sued by a state legislator, who says he is disobeying part of the constitution that requires the governor and certain other high-ranking officials to reside in “the seat of government” ­– Charleston.

Justice continues to reside in Lewisburg. He is in Charleston when needed and, regardless of where he lives, gets the state’s business done, he insists.

This week he held a press conference and pointed to the strong state economy as evidence he gets things done. Then, Justice cited a Bible verse about Jesus’ work. Part of the verse reads, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

“I’m in the field,” Justice commented.

Justice’s comments are irrelevant. At issue is how the state constitution is interpreted and whether the governor must obey it.

That will be settled in the courts, not in public relations stunts.