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The Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland, 1914
Volume 373, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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Art. 4. That the people of this State have the sole and exclusive
right of regulating the internal government and police thereof, as a
free, sovereign and independent State.

The act of 1812, chapter 194, was continued in force by this article—see
notes to article 8. Baltimore v. Board of Police, 15 Md. 483.

This article referred to in construing article 1, sections 1 to 5, of the
Md. constitution—see notes thereto. Anderson v. Baker, 23 Md. 610.

Art. 5. That the inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the Com-
mon Law of England, and the trial by Jury, according to the course of
that law, and to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed
oil the Fourth day of July, seventeen hundred and seventy-six; and
which, by experience, have been found applicable to their local and other
circumstances, and have been introduced, used and practiced by the
Courts of Law or Equity; and also of all Acts of Assembly in force on
the first day of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven; except such as
may have since expired, or may be inconsistent with the provisions of
this Constitution; subject, nevertheless, to the revision of, and amend-
ment or repeal by, the Legislature of this State. And the Inhabitants
of Maryland are also entitled to all property derived to them from or
under the Charter granted by His Majesty, Charles the First, to Caecilius
Calvert, Baron of Baltimore.

Law of England.

This article has no reference to adjudications in England anterior to the

colonization or to the judicial adoptions here of any part of the common
law during the continuance of the colonial government, but to the common
law in mass as it existed here either potentially or practically and as it
prevailed in England at the time, except such portions of it as are inconsist-
ent with the spirit of the constitution and the nature of our political insti-
tutions. Whether particular parts of the common law are applicable to
our local circumstances, etc., is a question for the courts to decide; how
what the common law of England was at the time of the adoption of the

declaration of rights is to be determined. State v. Buchannon, 5 H. & J.

The pre-eminence of the state over the citizen is a necessary incident to
sovereignty; it constitutes a branch of the common law adopted by this
article (as it stood in the constitution of 1776). State v. Milburn, 9 G. 111.

By the common law, to which under this article the inhabitants of Mary-
land are entitled, no woman could in person take an official part in the

state government except as overseer of the poor, without express statutory
authority. This article referred to in deciding that a woman (independent
of statute) is not entitled to practice law in Maryland. In re Maddox, 93
Md. 731.

This article does not support the contention that the whole common
law, as it existed in Maryland at the time this article was adopted, became
a part of the constitution, and hence was beyond legislative change. Day

v. State, 7 Gill, 325.

This article is not to be expounded according to the rule of construction
applicable to declaratory laws, but as adopting the different classes of the

statutes to which it relates sub modo only and rejecting all others; and as
laying down rules by which to ascertain what statutes) were so adopted—
a different rule applying to each class. What statutes "by experience have
been found applicable." Dashiell v. Attorney-General, 5 H, & J. 401.

The marriage acts were not among the "English statutes which existed
on July 4th, 1770, and which by experience have been found applicable,"

etc.—see article 63, section 1, et seq. Harrison v. State, 22 Md. 487.


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The Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland, 1914
Volume 373, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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