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NEWS
April 3, 2014
Hardly a day goes by without a story exposing wealthy special interests sticking it to the average Joe. One day it's Wall Street bankers bringing down the economy, foreclosing on the unsuspecting poor, and getting off virtually scot-free. The next day it's insurance companies charging exorbitant rates for health coverage yet denying claims whenever they can get away with it. Drug companies and pesticide manufacturers lobby the Food and Drug Administration to delay pulling a harmful product from the market while unwitting patients or phosphate-breathing farm workers pay the heavy price.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 21, 2014
On Sept. 17, 1787, the 55 delegates of the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting with one item on the agenda - signing the Constitution. This November, under-18-year-olds will not be able to vote in congressional and state elections. Why? It's the law. Almost certainly, new strategies are needed to increase civic engagement in Maryland and even the United States. Is it time for a robust debate concerning lowering the voting age in Maryland to 16? Yes, Maryland should follow the lead of the City of Tacoma Park and give 16-year-olds the right to vote in state elections.
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NEWS
July 12, 2010
Maryland should have a constitutional convention with main agenda to be return the power from the politicians back to people ("To convene or not to convene," editorials, July 10). The people should demand changes to the laws and strip these that allow the government to raise salaries and protect pensions and health care costs for themselves, for the politicians are supposed be public servants and their pay salaries and pensions should not exceed those of the people they serve. It should be as plain and simple as that.
NEWS
April 9, 2014
Your recent editorial rightly criticized the Supreme Court's disastrous decisions in McCutcheon and Citizens United , which transfer even more power to the ruling class by valiantly freeing us from the tyranny of not-enough-money-in-politics ( "A win for the billionaires," April 4). What problem does the McCutcheon decision solve? In the last election cycle, only 646 Americans bumped up against the aggregate limits on federal donations. The ruling gives them even more power and does absolutely nothing for anyone else.
NEWS
By J.H. Snider | January 18, 2012
Many laws aren't enforced, including requirements that you pay payroll tax for baby sitters and clean your sidewalk after a snowstorm. But enforcing the Maryland Constitution, especially in regard to electoral rules, should not be a matter of discretion. On Nov. 2, 2010, a statewide ballot referendum asked voters whether they wanted to convene a state constitutional convention (con-con). Under Maryland's constitution, this referendum is automatically placed on the ballot every 20 years.
NEWS
July 6, 2013
Arthur Hirsch 's recent article about the Battle of Gettysburg reveals a disturbing ignorance of the political dynamics that brought this nation to a war that 150 years later remains the most cataclysmic event in our history ("A defining day relived," July 2). It accepts the shallow but unchallenged premise that the Civil War occurred because slavery was practiced in the South, and that righteous resolve to abolish the institution left the U.S. with no option other than a resort to arms.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2010
Voters in Maryland will get a chance in this year's election to launch a process to revise the state constitution, but experts predict the measure will be a hard sell. Every 20 years, state lawmakers are required to pass legislation placing a constitutional convention question on the ballot. Still, just one has been called in the state since 1867. Such "mandatory" calls tend to pass only when there are "galvanizing issues" that mobilize voters, said Daniel A. Friedman, an assistant attorney general who is counsel to the Maryland General Assembly and author of "The Maryland State Constitution: A Reference Guide.
NEWS
November 7, 1990
Maryland voters handily turned down a constitutional convention referendum question. By law, the question has to appear on the ballot every 20 years. Some 60 percent of the state voters were against the question that would have mandated a state constitutional convention.In a separate ballot question, voters also approved a measure bTC which will add language to the constitution allowing state and local officials to serve as members of a military reserve while also working for the state.While arguments have been made that the constitution prohibits such dual service to the government, a handful of state judges and legislators are and have been active members of the Maryland National Guard or federal reserve units.
NEWS
July 10, 2010
It is one of the peculiarities of Maryland that its state constitution requires the General Assembly to place a binding referendum on the general election ballot every 20 years, asking voters whether they want to convene a constitutional convention. Since the last time the matter was considered was in 1990, that is one of the questions voters will be asked to decide again in November. No doubt this will come as a surprise to most people, who probably are more familiar with the U.S. Constitution than with their state's founding charter.
NEWS
By DAN BERGER | March 7, 2001
Best that weather forcasters err, if at all, on the side of preparedness. Dick Cheney is the nearest this administration gets to the indispensable man, and owes it to us all to pace himself accordingly. It's a crime to import New Jersey wine without a Maryland middleman -- just the lunacy the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was meant to correct. Whatever else he has done, Albert Belle always did his best.
NEWS
April 3, 2014
Hardly a day goes by without a story exposing wealthy special interests sticking it to the average Joe. One day it's Wall Street bankers bringing down the economy, foreclosing on the unsuspecting poor, and getting off virtually scot-free. The next day it's insurance companies charging exorbitant rates for health coverage yet denying claims whenever they can get away with it. Drug companies and pesticide manufacturers lobby the Food and Drug Administration to delay pulling a harmful product from the market while unwitting patients or phosphate-breathing farm workers pay the heavy price.
NEWS
December 5, 2013
It is most disturbing that former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and so many current members of the U.S. Senate and House do not understand that minority rule in either house of Congress was one of the fears expressed by the Framers of the Constitution ( "The nuclear option: then and now," Dec. 1). The "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster for certain appointments is not a reversal of the intent of the Framers - it is a return to their original intent. Indeed, the entire portion of Rule 22 of the Senate that requires any vote to be more than a majority of the quorum present is in violation of the higher ranking "supreme law of the land.
NEWS
September 6, 2013
Festival The National Continental Congress Festival will be held Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 11-14, at 162 Conduit St. in Annapolis. Its theme is the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which led to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. During the festival, Annapolis will emulate what took place in 1786 by serving as the site of a national discussion of the challenges facing the United States following the Sept. 11 attacks and the war on terrorism. The festival will also commemorate the 1786 Convention and the pre-Constitution period, especially the years when Annapolis served as the first peacetime capital of the United States, acting as a bridge between the Revolution and the Constitution.
NEWS
July 6, 2013
Arthur Hirsch 's recent article about the Battle of Gettysburg reveals a disturbing ignorance of the political dynamics that brought this nation to a war that 150 years later remains the most cataclysmic event in our history ("A defining day relived," July 2). It accepts the shallow but unchallenged premise that the Civil War occurred because slavery was practiced in the South, and that righteous resolve to abolish the institution left the U.S. with no option other than a resort to arms.
NEWS
September 26, 2012
I was about to send my check in for my subscription to The Sun when I read Dan Rodricks ' encomium to that resident of the fever swamps of the ideological left, Garrett Epps ("Wresting Constitution from the far right," Sept. 25). From whence the notion that the concept of restraining the power of the central government at the Constitutional Convention is a myth? Perhaps Mr. Rodricks and Mr. Epps would benefit from a rereading (if there ever was a first reading ) of The Federalist Papers instead of "Of Grammatology.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | September 24, 2012
Soon after President Barack Obama's inauguration, "I want my country back!" became the shrill battle cry of the tea party. Garrett Epps, a legal scholar based at the University of Baltimore, has a battle cry of his own: "I want my Constitution back!" Epps believes the tea party and the politicians it supports are among the collaborators in extravagant myth-making about the law of the land, and the movement has gone from the fringe to the conservative mainstream to the Supreme Court.
NEWS
By THEO LIPPMAN JR | May 25, 1992
THIS IS NOT just Memorial Day. It is also the 215th anniversary of the opening of the first Constitutional Convention.First? Yes, now that the Archivist of the U.S. and Congress have validated the proposition that state actions to amend the Constitution are everlasting, the second Constitutional Convention is a certainty.What the archivist said and Congress voted overwhelmingly to endorse was that state ratifications of congressionally proposed amendments to the Constitution never expire.
NEWS
By J.H. Snider | September 23, 2012
What type of majority is necessary to approve Maryland's Nov. 6 ballot referendum to expand gambling? Maryland's Constitution says: "a majority of the qualified voters in the State" (Article XIX). Those who have studied this clause, an amendment voters ratified in 2008, recognize its careless draftsmanship. Read literally, it means a majority of eligible voters in Maryland. This is not a crazy interpretation: dozens of laws with similar language have been interpreted this way since America's founding.
NEWS
April 2, 2012
We in Maryland have petitions to override laws the legislature enacted and to approve amendments to the Maryland Constitution. Other States have similar laws. California also allows petitions to enact new laws. Sounds very democratic, in a political structure sense, not a partisan sense. However, the Constitutional Convention debated the question of democracy and concluded that democracy can only work in small settings, not in large state or national structures. Thus, Constitution's Article IV section 4. states: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government ... " A republican form of government requires a representative, elected legislature.
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