Twenty-third Judicial Circuit Judge John C. Yoder, who returned to the bench Wednesday after undergoing heart surgery last month, will preside over Judge Gina M. Groh’s docket, according to an administrative order put in effect Wednesday.
Groh resigned Monday at noon after her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia was confirmed last week by the Senate. A White House official said Tuesday morning that President Obama subsequently appointed Groh to the federal bench.
In light of Groh’s departure, the remaining four circuit judges agreed to allow Yoder to take over Groh’s docket. Senior status judges will also preside in cases to which Yoder was previously assigned and as well as other cases, according to an administrative order signed Wednesday by Chief Circuit Judge David H. Sanders.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is expected to appoint someone to fill the vacancy created by Groh’s appointment to the federal bench after the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission interviews applicants and recommends three finalists for the his consideration.
Groh’s eight-year term does not expire until 2016, but the person appointed by Tomblin will have to run for election in 2014 to complete the unexpired term, according to Jake Glance, spokesman for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.