(03/02/2009)
A wealthy Massey Coal executive's support of a West Virginia Supreme Court justice's 2004 election is at center stage in Washington this week before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court is considering when judges should step aside from cases involving campaign supporters.

CEO Don Blankenship spent at least $3 million to help Republican Brent Benjamin defeat the incumbent Democrat in 2004.

Benjamin later helped overturn a judgment against Massey, now valued at $82.7 million with interest.

Legal ethics experts have frequently faulted Benjamin for failing to remove himself from Massey cases.

Benjamin has defended his participation in the case.


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