Scott Douglas Gerber

in A Distinct Judicial Power

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199765874
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896875 | DOI:

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This chapter chronicles the origins of an independent judiciary in Maryland. It shows that the judicial power in colonial Maryland is among the most difficult of the original thirteen states to assess because it was characterized by “continual change”. The compensation clause of article XXX of the Maryland Declaration of Rights appeared to work against the independence of the judiciary—at least until Chancellor Bland submitted his 1825 memorial—while the good behavior clause seemed to work for it. There is no doubt in which direction the removal worked: against the independence of the Maryland judiciary. Chancellor Bland's statement in his memorial that article XXX was intended to be a “perfect” guarantee of “judicial independency” notwithstanding, Maryland's 1776 organic law allowed for some political manipulation of the state's courts, although it certainly provided for more judicial independence than the 1632 charter that had conferred all government power, including the judicial power, upon Lord Baltimore.

Keywords: independent judiciary; judicial power; Declaration of Rights; article XXX; Maryland

Chapter.  10668 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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