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{{cons update|Month=June 2012}}{{MDConstitution}}{{TOCnestright}}The current '''Constitution of Maryland''' is a [[state constitution]] and the fundamental governing document of [[Maryland]].  It was ratified by the people of the state on September 18, 1867, replacing the short-lived [[wikipedia:Maryland Constitution of 1864|Constitution of 1864]].  The state's current constitution is the fourth constitution under which the state has been governed.  It was last amended in 2006.
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{{MDConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''Maryland Constitution''' is the fundamental governing document of the state of [[Maryland]].   
  
At approximately 47,000 words (including annotations), the Maryland Constitution is much longer than the average length of a [[State constitution|state constitution]] in the United States, which is about 26,000 words (the United States Constitution is about 8,700 words long).
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==Features==
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The Maryland Constitution was ratified by the people of the state on September 18, 1867.<ref name="md">[http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/const.html ''Maryland.gov'', "Constitution of Maryland", accessed March 28, 2014]</ref>
  
==Background, drafting, and ratification==
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==[[Declaration of Rights, Maryland Constitution#Preamble|Preamble]]==
The state's 1864 constitution, written during the Civil War while the Unionists temporarily controlled Maryland, proved to be unsuitable in a state that still had a lot of Southern sympathies.  That document, which was approved by a bare majority (50.31%) of the state's eligible voters, was designed to disenfranchise the approximately 25,000 Marylanders who fought for the Confederacy or in other ways supported it.  Also, while emancipating the state's slaves, the 1864 constitution changed the basis of representation in the General Assembly to help keep power in the hands of the white elite.
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: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
  
The Constitution of 1867 was drafted by a convention which met at the state capital, [Annapolis, between May 8 and August 17, 1867.  It was submitted to the people of the state for ratification on September 18 and was approved by a vote of 27,152 to 23,036.  It took effect on 5 October, 1867.
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The Preamble to the Maryland Constitution states:<ref name="md"/>
  
==Preamble==
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{| style="width:40%; background:#F2F2F2; margin-top:.1em; border:.5px solid #cccccc; solid;"
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|color:#000"|
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|-
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|
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| <center>''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:''<ref name="md"/></center>
  
: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
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|}
  
The [[Declaration of Rights, Maryland Constitution#Preamble|Preamble to the Maryland Constitution]] is:<ref>[http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/00dec.html Preamble to the Maryland Constitution]</ref>
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==[[Declaration of Rights, Maryland Constitution|Declaration of Rights]]==
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The Maryland Constitution begins with a "Declaration of Rights," which is similar to the [[Bill of Rights, United States Constitution|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.<ref>[http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/00dec.html ''Maryland.gov'', "Constitution of Maryland: Declaration of Rights," accessed June 18, 2014]</ref>
  
:''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:''
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==[[Article I, Maryland Constitution|Article I]]==
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Article I of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Elective Franchise" and consists of thirteen sections.
  
==Declaration of Rights==
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==[[Article II, Maryland Constitution|Article II]]==
The Maryland Constitution begins with a Declaration of Rights, which is similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights but, like most state bills of rights, is broader than the federal version. Among other things, the Maryland Constitution guarantees trial by jury, due process, freedom of the press and of religion. It also forbids, among other things, the passage of ex post facto laws and cruel and unusual punishment.  Notably, juries in criminal cases are declared to be judges of law as well as fact, thus ensconcing in the constitution the right of (what is commonly called) jury nullification -- a commonplace in the early 19th century, but by 1867 already in decline as a result of abuse (in such conflicts as the Mormons in Nauvoo and the Fugitive Slave Law), and today very much the minority position but the subject of a national movement for restoration.
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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.
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==[[Article III, Maryland Constitution|Article III]]==
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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.
  
While the Declaration of Rights does say that "a well regulated Militia is the proper and natural defence of a free Government," it does not guarantee a right to bear arms. This makes the Maryland Constitution one of the very few state constitutions that lacks the equivalent of the federal second amendment.  There is also a rather striking effort (presumably more symbolic than legally effective) to limit the guarantee against religious disabilities to those who believe in God and divine rewards and punishments.
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==[[Article IV, Maryland Constitution|Article IV]]==
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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.
  
Maryland's Constitution also makes explicit the separation of powers doctrine which is only implied in the federal constitution.  The Maryland Constitution clearly states that "the Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers of Government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other; and no person exercising the functions of one of said Departments shall assume or discharge the duties of any other."
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==[[Article V, Maryland Constitution|Article V]]==
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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.
  
==Summary==
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==[[Article VI, Maryland Constitution|Article VI]]==
* [[Article I, Maryland Constitution|Article I]] is entitled Elective Franchise.
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Article VI of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Treasury Department" and consists of six sections. This article establishes the treasury department.
* [[Article II, Maryland Constitution|Article II]] establishes the executive department and the governor at its head.
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* [[Article III, Maryland Constitution|Article III]] establishes the legislative department as the law-making body of the state.
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* [[Article IV, Maryland Constitution|Article IV]] establishes the judicial department as the system of courts.
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* [[Article V, Maryland Constitution|Article V]] concerns the attorney-general as well as the state's attorneys.
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* [[Article VI, Maryland Constitution|Article VI]] sets up the treasury department.
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* [[Article VII, Maryland Constitution|Article VII]] concerns sundry officers.
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* [[Article VIII, Maryland Constitution|Article VIII]] establishes the public school system for the state.
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* [[Article IX, Maryland Constitution|Article IX]] deals with the state militia.
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* [[Article X, Maryland Constitution|Article X]] has been repealed.
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* [[Article XI, Maryland Constitution|Articles XI]], [[Article XI-A, Maryland Constitution|XI-A]], [[Article XI-B, Maryland Constitution|XI-B]], [[Article XI-C, Maryland Constitution|XI-C]], [[Article XI-D, Maryland Constitution|XI-D]], [[Article XI-E, Maryland Constitution|XI-E]], [[Article XI-F, Maryland Constitution|XI-F]], [[Article XI-G, Maryland Constitution|XI-G]], [[Article XI-H, Maryland Constitution|XI-H]] and [[Article XI-I, Maryland Constitution|XI-I]] concern the city of Baltimore.
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* [[Article XII, Maryland Constitution|Article XII]] details public works.
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* [[Article XIII, Maryland Constitution|Article XIII]] is about new counties.
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* [[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution|Article XIV]] describes the process for amending the state constitution.
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* [[Article XV, Maryland Constitution|Article XV]] deals with miscellaneous governmental provisions.
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* [[Article XVI, Maryland Constitution|Article XVI]] concerns the referendum.
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* [[Article XVII, Maryland Constitution|Article XVII]] states that elections be held every four years.
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* [[Article XVIII, Maryland Constitution|Article XVIII]] concerns provisions that will only last for a limited duration.
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* [[Article XIX, Maryland Constitution|Article XIX]] deals with video lottery terminals.
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==Amending the constitution==
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==[[Article VII, Maryland Constitution|Article VII]]==
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Article VII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Sundry Officers" and consists of six sections, most of which have been repealed.
  
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==[[Article VIII, Maryland Constitution|Article VIII]]==
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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.
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==[[Article IX, Maryland Constitution|Article IX]]==
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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.
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==[[Article X, Maryland Constitution|Article X]]==
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Article X of the Maryland Constitution has been repealed.
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==Articles XI - XI-I==
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[[Article XI, Maryland Constitution|Articles XI]], [[Article XI-A, Maryland Constitution|XI-A]], [[Article XI-B, Maryland Constitution|XI-B]], [[Article XI-C, Maryland Constitution|XI-C]], [[Article XI-D, Maryland Constitution|XI-D]], [[Article XI-E, Maryland Constitution|XI-E]], [[Article XI-F, Maryland Constitution|XI-F]], [[Article XI-G, Maryland Constitution|XI-G]], [[Article XI-H, Maryland Constitution|XI-H]] and [[Article XI-I, Maryland Constitution|XI-I]] concern the city of Baltimore.
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==[[Article XII, Maryland Constitution|Article XII]]==
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Article XII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Public Works" and consists of three sections. 
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==[[Article XIII, Maryland Constitution|Article XIII]]==
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Article XIII of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "New Counties" and consists of two sections.
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==[[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution|Article XIV]]==
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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.
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==[[Article XV, Maryland Constitution|Article XV]]==
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Article XV of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of 11 sections. This article is concerned with miscellaneous governmental provisions.
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==[[Article XVI, Maryland Constitution|Article XVI]]==
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Article XVI of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "The Referendum" and consists of six sections.
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==[[Article XVII, Maryland Constitution|Article XVII]]==
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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.
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==[[Article XVIII, Maryland Constitution|Article XVIII]]==
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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.
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==[[Article XIX, Maryland Constitution|Article XIX]]==
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Article XIX of the Maryland Constitution is entitled "Video Lottery Terminals" and consists of a single section.
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==Amending the constitution==
 
:: ''See also: [[Amending state constitutions]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Amending state constitutions]]''
  
 
[[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution|Article 14]] defines these ways to amend the Maryland Constitution:
 
[[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution|Article 14]] defines these ways to amend the Maryland Constitution:
  
* Constitutional amendment can be accomplished via a {{lrcafull}}.  Placing such a proposed amendment on the ballot must be approved by a two-thirds vote of each chamber of the [[Maryland State Legislature]]. Note: The required 2/3rds vote is of the full membership of each chamber, not 2/3rds of whatever quorum is present when the vote is held.
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* Constitutional amendment can be accomplished via a {{lrcafull}}.  Placing such a proposed amendment on the ballot must be approved by a two-thirds vote of each chamber of the [[Maryland State Legislature]]. Note: The required two-thirds vote is of the full membership of each chamber, not two-thirds of whatever quorum is present when the vote is held.
 
* The constitution can also be amended via a [[constitutional convention]].   
 
* The constitution can also be amended via a [[constitutional convention]].   
:* [[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution#Section 2|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 twenty years starting in 1970.
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:* [[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution#Section 2|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.
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* 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.
 
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===Notable amendments===
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While the average state constitution has been amended approximately 115 times, as of 2004, the Maryland Constitution had been amended almost 200 times.  It was amended twice in [[Maryland 2008 ballot measures|2008]].  In 1972 an amendment created the current legislative districting system that the state's General Assembly follows and in 1970 an amendment that created the position of [[Lieutenant Governor of Maryland]] was approved.
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More infamously, in 1910 the Digges Amendment, which would have used property requirements to effectively disenfranchise many African Americans, was proposed.  However, it was rejected by the people at the general election.
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===Constitutional conventions===
 
===Constitutional conventions===
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[[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution#Section 2|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]].<ref> [http://2010marylandconvention.blogspot.com/ ''2010 Maryland Convention'', "We are not alone," July 6, 2009]</ref>
  
[[Article XIV, Maryland Constitution#Section 2|Section 2 of Article 14]] of the [[Maryland Constitution]] requires the [[Maryland General Assembly]] to ask the voters every 20 years, starting in 1970, about whether they wish to call a [[constitutional convention]].<ref> [http://2010marylandconvention.blogspot.com/ ''2010 Maryland Convention'', "We are not alone", July 6, 2009]</ref>
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The question was on the [[Maryland Constitutional Convention Question, Question 1 (2010)|November 2, 2010 ballot]] in Maryland, where it failed.<ref>[http://www.electionsmaryland.com/elections/2010/results/General/gen_qresults_2010_2_00_1.html ''Maryland State Board of Elections'', "Official 2010 Gubernatorial General Election results for All State Questions," accessed June 18, 2014]</ref>
  
The question will be on the [[Maryland 2010 ballot measures|November 2, 2010 ballot]] in Maryland.
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==History==
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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.<ref>[http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/mdgovt.html ''Maryland.gov'', "Maryland at a Glance," accessed June 18, 2014]</ref>
  
* [[Maryland Constitutional Convention Question (2010)]]
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==See also==
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[[File:StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg|right|175px]]
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* [[State constitution]]
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* [[Constitutional article]]
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* [[Constitutional amendment]]
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* [[Constitutional revision]]
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* [[Constitutional convention]]
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* [[Amendment|Amendments]]
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** [[Initiated constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Publication requirements for proposed state constitutional amendments]]
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** [[Rules about constitutional conventions in state constitutions]]
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** [[State constitutional articles governing state legislatures]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
{{wikipedia}}
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{{submit a link}}
*[http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/const.html Text of the Constitution]
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* [http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/const.html ''Maryland.gov'', "Maryland Constitution"]
* [http://aomol.net/html/conventions4.html From ''The Archives of Maryland'' proceedings] debate, list of delegates, as well as text of the Constitution
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* [http://aomol.net/html/conventions4.html From ''The Archives of Maryland'', "Constitutional Records"]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=MoTGJ8bk11wC&pg=PA263&lpg=PA263&dq=1990+MARYLAN#v=onepage&q=&f=false The Maryland State Constitution: A Reference Guide]. Dan Friedman, 2006, 399 pages.
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* [http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2006/results/general/Statewide_Ballot_Question_Results.html ''Maryland.gov'', "Statewide Ballot Question Results"]
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* [http://teaching.msa.maryland.gov/000001/000000/000115/html/t115.html ''Teaching American History in Maryland'', "Maryland Constitutions"], a list of primary and secondary resources about the Maryland Constitution and its history.
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==Additional reading==
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* [http://books.google.com/books?id=MoTGJ8bk11wC&pg=PA263&lpg=PA263&dq=1990+MARYLAN#v=onepage&q=&f=false Friedman, Dan (2006). ''The Maryland State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing]
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* [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1314845 Rees, Charles A. (2007). "Remarkable Evolution: The Early Constitutional History of Maryland" in ''University of Baltimore Law Review'', Vol. 36, No. 2, 2007]
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* [http://web.archive.org/web/20050310164539/http://www.mdhc.org/bibliotest/essays.php?essay=31 Ridgway, Whitman H. (2001). "(Maryland in) the Nineteenth Century" from the ''Maryland Humanities Council'']
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* [http://www.thegreenpapers.com/slg/constitution.phtml Berg-Andersson, Richard E. (2004). "Constitutions of the Several states" from ''The Green Papers'']
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
* 1. [http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2006/results/general/Statewide_Ballot_Question_Results.html Satewide Ballot Question Results] from the Maryland Board of Elections
 
*Whitman H. Ridgway. Maryland Humanities Council (2001). "[http://web.archive.org/web/20050310164539/http://www.mdhc.org/bibliotest/essays.php?essay=22 (Maryland) Politics and Law]".
 
*Whitman H. Ridgway. Maryland Humanities Council (2001). "[http://web.archive.org/web/20050310164539/http://www.mdhc.org/bibliotest/essays.php?essay=31 (Maryland in) the Nineteenth Century]".
 
*Richard E. Berg-Andersson (Dec. 5, 2004). "[http://www.thegreenpapers.com/slg/constitution.phtml Constitutions of the Several states]".
 
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
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{{Maryland Constitution}}
 
{{Maryland Constitution}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{Maryland}}
 
{{Maryland}}

Latest revision as of 12:30, 18 June 2014

Maryland Constitution
Flag of Maryland.png
Articles

Declaration of RightsIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXI-AXI-BXI-CXI-DXI-EXI-FXI-GXI-HXI-IXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIX

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

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

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Suggest a link

Additional reading

References