West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Evan Jenkins announced his resignation from the state's highest court last Friday and is effective Monday, February seventh.
Speculation on the former congressman potentially running for governor in 2024 began immediately.
Jenkins expressed a desire to return to the practice of law.
"After a great deal of prayer and careful consideration with my family," Jenkins wrote in a letter to Governor Justice, "I have decided to return to the practice of law and put my years of state and federal experience to work promoting job creating economic development projects and championing the issues I so deeply believe will benefit the people of West Virginia."
Jenkins was named to the court on October firs of 2018. His appointment was to temporarily replace Justice Robin Davis. Jenkins was elected to the seat that November. His term is set to expire in 2024.
Governor Justice said the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will begin the process of filling this vacancy with an appointee to serve on the court until the people of West Virginia elect a new justice.
The Secretary of State’s Office said an election for a new justice will likely be next fall.
Chief Justice John Hutchison appointed Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats to sit temporarily on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia to fill the vacancy.
Moats has been a judge of the Nineteenth Judicail Circuit since 1997. The Nineteenth Circuit includes Barbour and Taylor counties.
Moats will serve on the court until the governor appoints someone.
"it's a tremendous honor to be appointed to the court to fulfill this temporary assignment. I have the utmost respect for all of our justices and look forward to working with each of them," Judge Moats said of the appointment.