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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 1155   View pdf image (33K)
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[Nov. 22] DEBATES 1155

of the Court of Appeals to in turn appoint
other chief judges in the judicial system
who have absolutely no term, but merely
serve at the pleasure of the original ap-
pointed chief judge of the Court of Appeals.

I ask you to consider whether or not un-
der a system of this nature, as proposed
by the majority, there would be or could be
a fair, free and open exchange and discus-
sion concerning matters important to the
judicial system.

I ask you to consider what would hap-
pen upon the retirement of the chief judge
of the Court of Appeals. Would not the
newly appointed chief judge to the Court
of Appeals give serious consideration to
cleaning house and appointing all new
chief judges on the intermediate court,
appellate court and district court level. He
may not do that, but the possibility exists.

I submit that the proposition advanced
by the minority is the answer to this diffi-
cult problem, for it provides that the other
chief judges of the other courts would
have the same right and term as the chief
judge of the Court of Appeals, namely, the
other designated chief judges by the gov-
ernor, which serve until they either resign
the position of chief judge or until they
retire.

The chief judge of the Court of Appeals
would, under our proposal, remain the ad-
ministrative head of the judicial court sys-
tem; so he would have direct control, di-
rect supervisory control over all of the
other judges, and we strongly urge the
Committee of the Whole to adopt our
amendment pertaining thereto.

Under section 5.30, the only difference
that you will find in the Minority Report
with respect to this section goes to the
manner of appointing clerks on the district
court level.

While we strongly support the majority's
position that the clerks on the superior
court level should be selected in a manner
prescribed by law, we think that it is ab-
surd not to provide in a similar manner
that the clerks of the district court be at
least appointed, not selected, under our pro-
posal, like the majority. They could not be
elected to office, but we submit that they
should be appointed in a manner prescribed
by law and that the judiciary should not
have to concern itself with hiring and per-
haps even firing district court clerks.

Our reasons are essentially those that we
formerly gave in our proposition with re-
spect to the commission.

DELEGATE HENDERSON: Mr. Chair-
man.

THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Henderson.

DELEGATE HENDERSON: A point of
order or a point of inquiry. Delegate John-
son is now discussing section 5.30. I thought
that was reserved for later and that we
presently had under discussion sections
5.29 and 5.31.

THE CHAIRMAN: He is presenting the
entire portion embraced within sections
5.29, 5.30 and 5.31. We will then take up
each section seriatim.

DELEGATE HENDERSON: Thank you.

THE CHAIRMAN: Proceed, Delegate
Johnson.

DELEGATE JOHNSON: Thank you,
Mr. Chairman.

So under our amendment we would hope
to remove the judiciary from this awkward
mess and awesome responsibility of having
to appoint clerks of court in every county
throughout the State. We submit that there
is a real difference between commissions
and clerks of court.

We fully anticipate the possibility that
the legislature may turn right around and
give the power of appointing clerks of
court to the judges, and if this be the way,
so be it; but at least if we provide thusly
by law, the situation could be changed
without the need of a constitutional amend-
ment.

In some of our opening remarks the
other day, I mentioned that Maryland was
only one of twenty-seven states that pro-
vided for appointment of clerks on the
Court of Appeals level. This is a good pro-
cedure, and we endorse it and sincerely
hope that it will not be changed and feel
certain that it will not be, but by the same
token, all the rest of the states do not even
permit the judiciary to appoint clerks on
that level; and none of the states, abso-
lutely none of the states permit the ju-
diciary to appoint clerks of court on the
lower levels; so we submit that our posi-
tion on matters pertaining thereto is in
the mainstream, and we would like to see
Maryland remain in the mainstream in
matters of this nature.

Under section 5.31, the Committee of the
Whole, for all practical purposes, has taken
care of the concern of the minority. Rather
than submitting an individual Minority Re-
port on each section where the words "by
rule" were used, we hoped and perhaps we

 

 

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 1155   View pdf image (33K)
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