(AP) — The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about replacing a senator who was elected a Democrat and resigned Republican.
An order Wednesday scheduled arguments for Jan. 19.
Former Wyoming County Sen. Daniel Hall was elected a Democrat in 2012 and turned Republican after the 2014 elections, breaking a tie for an 18-16 GOP majority. Hall recently resigned for an NRA job.
State law is ambiguous about replacing someone who flipped parties.
A Democratic appointment would deadlock the Senate.
In a court filing, Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration said he'd appoint a Democrat unless otherwise court-ordered.
Briefs by Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, GOP Senate President Bill Cole and the state Chamber of Commerce favor a Republican replacement.
Justice Brent Benjamin recused himself.
The 60-day legislative session began Wednesday.