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Minority Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee that approved the articles last week had tried to speed up the impeachment process in the hopes of beating an Aug. 14 deadline for arranging a special election in November if any justice is removed from office or leaves office. Instead, the committee took its time, even conducting a tour of the state Supreme Court offices earlier this month.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice will be allowed to appoint new justices to replace any who are impeached — with no requirement that they be from the same party as the incumbent.

Democrats have accused Republicans of attempting to wrest the court away from voters, who elected the current justices in nonpartisan elections.

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