clear space clear space clear space white space
 r c h i v e s   o f   M a r y l a n d   O n l i n e

PLEASE NOTE: The searchable text below was computer generated and may contain typographical errors. Numerical typos are particularly troubling. Click “View pdf” to see the original document.

  Maryland State Archives | Index | Help | Search
search for:
clear space
white space
Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 1617   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  
clear space clear space clear space white space

[Dec. 2] DEBATES 1617

two-thirds of two-thirds, which is a
quorum; it would require approval by a
majority of the members to which each
House is entitled, which would include in
the computation of members any vacant
seats. Eleven state constitutions do not
mention majority requirements for the
passage of bills, and of those eleven, all
but two have rules of their legislative
bodies which require certain majorities.

It is interesting to note that a couple of
those states which have no majority re-
quirements for passage of bills mention in
their constitution, required two-thirds for
a quorum.

We believe that this thing is such a revo-
lutionary step that it cannot be adopted by
the Committee of the Whole or by the Con-
vention without doing a great disservice
to the people of Maryland.

In the majority recommendation there
are opportunities for political trickery and
political chicanery that we have never had.
There has been a great deal of talk in this
Convention -about the advisability of legis-
lators. We suggest that advisability of
legislators will disappear if you have a
situation in which 11 people in the Senate
and 31 people in the House can pass bills.

An example of what might happen is a
day like today, or like yesterday, a nice
wintery day, in which the attendance is
likely to be low. A committee chairman can
line up his people for early that day, call
a bill up, and get it through with a very
limited number of people. Another thing
which can happen under the majority rec-
ommendation is that in those instances in
which there is a great deal of pressure on
members to vote in a particular way, he
can get by with passing in many more cir-
cumstances than he can under the consti-
tutional majority rule.

In one of the sections, three-fifths votes
are required for the expulsion of a member.
That is tied also to a present voting rule,
so that if you have a quorum present, for
example, in the Senate of 21 people, three-
fifths of the 21 people could expel a mem-
ber. The same is true in the House.

This step, which the majority would have
us take, is so far out of practice with most
American states, I find it incredible. The
present Maryland Constitution requires the
con sti tutional majority. The draft prepared
by the Constitutional Convention Commis-
sion requires a constitutional majority. All
but a very few, five of the states in the
United States, require a greater majority
than this, and it seems to us 'that the only

way in which the people of Maryland can
be adequately protected against their legis-
lators being invisible and against their
legislators becoming involved in political
trickery is to stay with that which we have
had and that which has historically worked
exceptionally well in this State and in other

We respectfully urge the Committee of
the Whole to support each of the three
amendments relating to 3.13, 3.16 and 3.17
which will be submitted.

DELEGATE CLARK (presiding) : Are
there any questions of Delegate Gilchrist?

Delegate Scanlan.

point of personal privilege, Mr. Chairman.

DELEGATE J. CLARK (presiding) :
State your privilege.

return Delegate Storm's compliment of last
night by pointing out in the gallery above
us the lovely wife of Delegate Rybczynski,
along with five of their large family of nine,
Paul, Thomas, Carol, Mary and Philip. I
think he was afraid to bring the others for
fear of overcrowding the gallery.


DELEGATE J. CLARK (presiding) :
Are there any questions of Delegate Gil-
christ on the minority report? The Chair
recognizes Delegate Bamberger.

Gilchrist, the language that is proposed by
the majority report is that the vote shall
be by a majority of all the members of
that house. I thought in your presentation
you suggested that this would have the
same effect as the language of the present
Constitution, which is that it be the ma-
jority of the whole number of members
elected, but the Commission's report indi-
cates that there was a different intention.
Do you intend to follow the view, or do you
adopt the intention of the Commission's re-

of members in the House is defined by, I
think it is 3.04 of the Committee's original
recommendations, and I do not see very
much distinction between the number of
members and the total number of people
used in your language.

(At this point, President H. Vernon Eney
resumed the Chair.)

THE CHAIRMAN : Delegate Bamberger.


clear space
clear space
white space

Please view image to verify text. To report an error, please contact us.
Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 1617   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

This web site is presented for reference purposes under the doctrine of fair use. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: The site may contain material from other sources which may be under copyright. Rights assessment, and full originating source citation, is the responsibility of the user.

Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!

An Archives of Maryland electronic publication.
For information contact

©Copyright  August 02, 2018
Maryland State Archives