State Constitution

STATE CONSTITUTION

Action to secure a constitution that is clear, concise and confined to fundamentals. (1962)

Support for
  1. A constitution that is clear, concise and confined to fundamentals.
Background: The Constitution of Maryland is over 100 years old and has never undergone major revision. It does require that the voters have the opportunity every 20 years to vote on the question of whether or not a constitutional convention should be called. In preparation for having the question on the ballot in November 1990, the League published “To Concon or Not”.
 
In a comprehensive study of the constitution in the 1950s, the League found inconsistencies, contradictory language applying to local jurisdictions, provisions that should have been statutory and obsolete provisions. This led to adoption of a position favoring a major revision of the constitution. Specific positions regarding constitutional referendum, state-local relationships, the judiciary and the executive followed.
 
A constitutional convention was held in 1967, in which the League played an active role. It produced a new constitution, which the League supported, but was rejected in 1968 by the voters. Since then, many legislators and other state officials have worked diligently to accomplish, in small steps, many of the convention’s recommendations.   In most elections since 1970, constitutional amendments have been on the ballot. Many of the provisions contained in the judicial and executive articles of the Constitution proposed in 1968 have been adopted. Gradually the court system is being modernized and Maryland has a reorganized executive branch complete with a Lieutenant Governor. 
 
Action:
  • Supported a proposed new constitution for Maryland. (1968—not achieved)
  • Supported measures that would make the constitution clear, concise, and confined to fundamentals.
  • Opposed bills that would place details of government in the constitution.