Narrated by The Honorable Diana G. Motz
NARRATOR: The Court of Appeals of Maryland is probably the oldest appellate court in the United States. Although created by the State Constitution of 1776, its origin goes back more than a half century before, when the Governor and his Council exercised an appellate jurisdiction roughly equivalent to that of the House of Lords.
Despite its ancient lineage, the Court has not yet entered middle age. Its arteries are sound. It's gait is sprightly and its heart and pulse beat strongly as it marches toward the millennium. Today, we will look at a small cross-section of the Court's history - six cases spanning 150 years. We don't claim that these are the six greatest cases in the Court's history. It might be impossible to assemble such a list. The greatest cases could still be waiting to be argued. But these six cases do have one thing in common; they resonate with history -- legal history, Maryland history -- the history of excellent lawyering in the State. And we hope you will agree that they ring with modern truths.
This is our imaginary courtroom. You will sit as the judges hearing the short excerpts of argument we have planned for you. And I will try to place you there.
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Henry M. Murray for Appellant (Portrayed by the Honorable Alan Wilner)
Daniel Raymond for Appellees (Portrayed by the Honorable Glenn Harrell)
Issue: Could the State prosecute officers of the Baltimore Branch of the Bank of the U.S. for conspiracy to defraud the Bank and its directors?
Thomas Alexander for Appellants (Portrayed by Ralph Tyler, Esq.)
Reverdy Johnson for Appellees (Portrayed by the Honorable Alan Wilner)
Issue: Could the General Assembly eliminate the Baltimore City police force and create a State entity to enforce the laws in the City?
Attorney General Isaac Lobe Straus for Appellant (Portrayed by Ralph Tyler, Esq.)
Frederick H. Fletcher for Appellees (Portrayed by the Honorable Glenn Harrell)
Issue: Would it deprive a landowner of property without due process if he could not sue a State official for trespassing on his land?
Charles LeViness for Appellants (Portrayed by Kevin Arther, Esq.)
Thurgood Marshall for Appellee Portrayed by the Honorable Arrie Davis)
Issue: Does a racially segregated University of Maryland Law School violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
J. Grahame Walker for Appellant (Portrayed by Ralph Tyler, Esq.)
Roger Redden for Appellee (Portrayed by Robert Zarnoch, Esq.) Issue: Can the State constitutionally require jurors to profess a belief in God?
Arold Ripperger for Appellant (Portrayed by Michael P. Smith, Esq.)
Asst. Attorney General E. Stephen Derby for Appellees (Portrayed by Kevin Arthur, Esq.)
Issue: Is a married woman entitled to register to vote in her birth name?
We specially want to thank:
Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse and the Maryland State Archives
Adrianne Arthur and Heery International
Ralph Luetters & the Administrative Office of the Courts
Return to "Six Significant Maryland Appellate Cases" document packet