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Doug Gansler

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Douglas F. Gansler
Doug Gansler.jpg
Attorney General of Maryland
In office
2006 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 9
Bachelor'sYale University
J.D.University Of Virginia School of Law
Date of birth1962
Office website
Douglas F. "Doug" Gansler (born 1962) is the current Democratic Attorney General of Maryland, first elected to the position in 2006. He announced his bid for re-election in June 2010 and ran unopposed in the general election five months later. [1]


  • Bachelor's degree, Yale University (cum laude)
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Virginia School of Law

Professional experience

Shortly after graduating from law school, Gansler worked as a clerk for Judge John C. McAuliffe on the United States Court of Appeals. Admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1989 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1990, he joined the private practice law firms of Coburn & Schertler and Howrey & Simon, remaining there for two years beginning in 1990. From 1992 to 1998, Gansler was an assistant to the United States Attorney General for the District of Maryland. A year later, he served as the State's Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland, holding the state governmental position from 1999 to 2007. As State Attorney, he prosecuted several high-profile cases including the Beltway Snipers John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. [2]

Legal opinions

Same-sex marriage

On February 25, 2010, Gansler published the opinion that stated that "there is no law in Maryland that says we don't recognize out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples." [3] This, in effect, requires state agencies to extend all benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy to married gay couples. At the same time, however, this ruling does not apply to private industries nor does it suggest that state law permits homosexuals to be wed there.



See also: Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

The June 2008 Survey and Scorecard report published by the embattled liberal political organization, ACORN, gave Gansler an A letter grade. The report was published to shine the spotlight on state attorneys general "leading the fight to protect homeowners from joining the flood of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure," so says the group. [4] The grade distributed to the individual attorneys general "generally broke down along party lines," with the exception of Louisiana's Buddy Caldwell. [5]

Impeachment attempt

As a result of Gansler's February 2010 legal opinion, in which he argued that state courts must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, an inquiry led by Republican State Delegate Don Dwyer, Jr. was made as to whether or not the Maryland House of Delegates had the authority to impeach the state's attorney general. Dwyer and his supporters argued that the line in Article III of the Maryland State Constitution, in which it states that "the House of Delegates shall have the sole power of impeachment in all cases," gives the state legislative body that power. [6] Others argue, however, that there is a conflict within the state constitution on this particular issue, pointing out another provision that says that the state attorney general "shall be subject to removal for incompetency, willful neglect of duty or misdemeanor in office, on conviction in a Court of Law."

Democratic House Speaker Michael Busch appointed a Democratic delegate as parliamentarian to interpret the rules for the House. In response, Dwyer filed an ethics against Busch for not delegating the position to a staff member, as is done in other legislatures. [7] On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the State House Judiciary Committee voted 15-5 opposing taking such action against Gansler, contending that his legal opinion "did not merit impeachment proceedings." [8]


In the midst of his tenure as the State's Attorney for Montgomery County, Gansler was sanctioned by the Maryland Court of Appeals for his handling of a high profile case, supposedly violating "the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct by making comments to reporters." Judge Lynne A. Battaglia, who wrote the opinion for the court, stated that the verdict should serve as example for "Gansler and other lawyers in Maryland that improper judicial statements dangerously jeopardize the foundational principles of our system of justice." [9] Gansler insisted that the decision was politically motivated.

Political issues

Gay marriage

See also: Same-sex marriage news

A little over three months after he delivered a legal opinion recognizing "out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples" in Maryland, State Attorney General Doug Gansler made the social-political issue the highlight of his re-election campaign. [3] Unlike any other politician within the state, he has been quite vocal in declaring that a "prohibition of gay marriage is a clear violation of equal protection." [10]

Other roles

  • Member, State's Attorneys' Coordination Council (1999-2007)
  • Vice-Chair, Governor's Task Force on Childproof Guns (1999 - present)
  • Member, Cease Fire Council (2000 - 2003)
  • Member, Task Force on Pedestrian Safety - Montgomery County (2000 - present)
  • Member, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council - Montgomery County (2004 - 2007)
  • Steering Committee, Bi-County Task Force on Gang Activity (2004 - present)
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
  • Member, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
  • Member, Maryland Bar Association
  • Member, Most Valuable Kids
  • Member, Teen Court
  • Member, Washington Regional Alcohol Program



2006 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary [11]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Doug Gansler 55.7%
     Democratic Party Stuart O. Simms 44.3%
Total Votes 513,715
2006 Race for Attorney General - General Election [12]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Doug Gansler 61.0%
     Republican Party Scott L. Rolle 38.9%
     Write-In 0.1%
Total Votes 1,710,839


See also: Maryland Attorney General election, 2010
  • 2010 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary and General Election [13] [14]
    • Doug Gansler ran unopposed in both of these contests

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Doug Gansler's donors each year.[15] Click [show] for more information.


Gansler currently resides in Maryland with his wife, Laura, and their two sons - Sam and Will. He is also a practicing member of Judaism.


  • Champion of Children Award (2000) from Victims' Rights Foundation
  • Hero Award (2002) from Mothers' Against Drunk Driving
  • Internet Keep Safe Award (2007) from iKeepSafe
  • Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership (2009) from Aspen Institute
  • Champion of Online Safety Award (2009) from Stop Internet Predators
  • Innovator of the Year Award (2009) from Daily Record

Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Office of the Attorney General
200 Saint Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone: 410-576-6300
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-743-0023

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
J. Joseph Curran
Maryland Attorney General
Succeeded by