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Maryland Constitution

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Maryland Constitution
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Articles

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The Maryland Constitution is the fundamental governing document of the state of Maryland.

Features

The Maryland Constitution was ratified by the people of the state on September 18, 1867.[1]

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The Preamble to the Maryland Constitution states:[1]

We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare:[1]

Declaration of Rights

The Maryland Constitution begins with a "Declaration of Rights," which is similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights. There are some differences, however. For example, the Maryland Declaration of Rights states that "a well regulated Militia is the proper and natural defense of a free Government," but it does not guarantee the right to bear arms.[2]

Article I

Article I of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Elective Franchise" and consists of thirteen sections.

Article II

Article II of the Maryland Constitution is entitled 'Executive Department" and consists of 24 sections. This article establishes the executive department and the governor at its head.

Article III

Article III of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 66 sections. This article of the Maryland Constitution establishes the legislative department as the law-making body of the state.

Article IV

Article IV of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Judiciary Department" and consists of seven parts. This article establishes the judicial department as the system of courts.

Article V

Article V of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Attorney-General and State's Attorneys" and concerns the attorney-general as well as the state's attorneys.

Article VI

Article VI of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Treasury Department" and consists of six sections. This article establishes the treasury department.

Article VII

Article VII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Sundry Officers" and consists of six sections, most of which have been repealed.

Article VIII

Article VIII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Education" and consists of three sections. This article establishes the public school system for the state of Maryland.

Article IX

Article IX of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Militia and Military Affairs" and consists of three sections. This article is concerned with the state militia.

Article X

Article X of the Maryland Constitution has been repealed.

Articles XI - XI-I

Articles XI, XI-A, XI-B, XI-C, XI-D, XI-E, XI-F, XI-G, XI-H and XI-I concern the city of Baltimore.

Article XII

Article XII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Public Works" and consists of three sections.

Article XIII

Article XIII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "New Counties" and consists of two sections.

Article XIV

Article XIV of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Amendments to the Constitution" and consists of three sections, which together define how the constitution can be amended.

Article XV

Article XV of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of 11 sections. This article is concerned with miscellaneous governmental provisions.

Article XVI

Article XVI of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "The Referendum" and consists of six sections.

Article XVII

Article XVII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Quadrennial Elections" and consists of 13 sections. This article states that elections be held every four years.

Article XVIII

Article XVIII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Provisions of Limited Duration" and consists of five sections. This article concerns provisions that only last for a limited duration.

Article XIX

Article XIX of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Video Lottery Terminals" and consists of a single section.

Amending the constitution

See also: Amending state constitutions

Article 14 defines these ways to amend the Maryland Constitution:

  • Section 2 of Article 14 says that an automatic ballot referral to ask the voters of the state whether they wish to convene a statewide constitutional convention must be placed on the statewide ballot every 20 years starting in 1970.
  • Article XIV allows for the possibility that some proposed constitutional amendments may apply to only one county (or the City of Baltimore, which is governed independently of a county structure). In this case, Article XIV says that in order to become part of the constitution, the proposed amendment must be approved by a majority vote not just statewide, but specifically in the county (or Baltimore) to which it exclusively applies.

Constitutional conventions

Article 14, Section 2 of the Maryland Constitution requires the Maryland General Assembly to ask the voters every 20 years, starting in 1970, whether they wish to call a constitutional convention.[3]

The question was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Maryland, where it failed.[4]

History

Maryland has had a total of four constitutions. The first was adopted during the Revolutionary War in 1776, and the others followed in 1851 and 1864. The fourth and current constitution was adopted in 1867.[5]

See also

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External links

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References