Check Please!

Our home state of Maryland is at it again. This time there is a new shot being fired across the bow of the state legislature and the Maryland Courts.

At issue are some rulings by the Court which have caught the ire of the legislature.

The most recent instance involved the Maryland Court of Appeals making new law by declaring in the case of Tracey v Solesky the mere act of owning a pit bull is a prima facie case for negligence if the pit bull attacks someone. In essence, the Court disregarded the actual law on animal bites and attacks, and simply made a new law.

In another case, the Court stuck down a law which created economic caps on awards for lead paint containment if the owner of the property had done that which the law required him to do. The end result is that for the property owner, following the law is no safe haven from lawsuits and huge damages.

Now, according to the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland legislature is getting fed up with passing laws, and then having the Court of Appeals write its own laws which are contrary to those written by the legislature.

And this is where the true idiocy of the whole mess comes to the forefront.

This is what one Delegate to the Maryland Legislature had to say about the courts and the legislature:

This court definitely is revealing that it has some very strong views about shaping Maryland law, and to that extent, some people will criticize [the judges] as being activist,” said Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. The “court will defend itself by saying it’s moving the law of Maryland incrementally forward. It all has to do with where you stand.”

This is an amazing statement. The Court has no business “shaping Maryland law,” “moving the law of Maryland incrementally forward,” or being “activists.” The Maryland Constitution is basically the same as that of the US Constitution with regards to the scope of the actions of the Maryland Courts.

Therefore whether you agree or disagree with the Court saying a pit bull is dangerous is not the issue. The issue is the Court had no legal or Constitutional right to make such belief part of the laws of the state of Maryland.

In doing so, the Court overstepped Constitutional checks and balances.

A spokesperson for the Court exemplifies the problem:

A judiciary spokeswoman issued a statement saying, “The Court of Appeals rulings and subsequent debate by members of the General Assembly exemplifies our democratic form of government in action.” (emphasis ours)

NEWS FLASH: We don’t have a democratic form of government. The US and the State of Maryland are examples of a Republic form of government.

How can anyone have faith in the government when the people who speak for those within the government are unaware of the basic facts and functions on government itself?

No wonder the checks and balances of the government are skewed and out of whack – the people who within the government don’t know the structure of the government.

It is enough to make you scream.

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