Thomas E. McHugh

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Thomas E. McHugh
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Court Information:
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Title:   Former justice
Active:   2008-2012
Preceded by:   Joseph Albright
Personal History
Born:   March 26, 1936
Party:   Democratic
Undergraduate:   West Virginia University
Law School:   West Virginia University College of Law

Thomas E. McHugh was a justice on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. He served the court from 1980 until his retirement on December 31, 1997. McHugh was re-appointed to the Supreme Court in 2008 and 2009 to serve during the illness and after the death of Justice Joseph Albright. His term expired in 2012, and he left the court at the end of his term.[1][2]

2010 election

See also: West Virginia judicial elections, 2010

Thomas E. McHugh narrowly defeated Republican John Yoder for election to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.[3]

Candidate IncumbentSeatPartyPrimary %Election %
Thomas E. McHugh ApprovedA YesMcHugh SeatDemocratic100%50.8%
John Yoder NoMcHugh SeatRepublican100%49.1%


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McHugh received his bachelor's degree from West Virginia University and his J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law.[5]

Military service

From 1958 to 1961, McHugh served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army.[1]


McHugh was a law clerk for West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Harlan Calhoun from 1966 to 1968. In 1974 he was elected to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County and re-elected in 1976. In 1974, he became chief judge on the court. McHugh joined the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in 1980.[1]

Awards and associations

  • West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow
  • Emeritus Member, Judge John A. Field, Jr., American Inns of Court
  • Director Emeritus of the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Thomas Memorial Hospital
  • Member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • President of the West Virginia Judicial Association, 1981-1982
  • Former member of the Judicial Review Board of West Virginia
  • Former member of the Visiting Committee of the West Virginia University College of Law, 1991 - 1995
  • Chairman of the Visiting Committee of the West Virginia University College of Law, 1994 - 1995
  • Former member of the Dean Search Committee of the West Virginia University College of Law, 1991 - 1992 and 1997 - 1998
  • Recipient of the Mountain Honorary, Distinguished West Virginian Award
  • Recipient of the 1996 Special Award of Achievement in the Administration of Justice from The West Virginia State Bar
  • Recipient of the 1996 Public Service Award from the Mountain State Bar Association
  • Recipient of a 1998 Certification of Completion of Mediation Training from Duke University Private Adjudication Center
  • Recipient of the 1998 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Kanawha County Bar Association
  • Recipient of the 1998 Justicia Officium Award from the West Virginia University College of Law[1]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. McHugh received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.44, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.35 that justices received in West Virginia. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[6]

External links