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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 169   View pdf image (33K)
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from 1851 to 1867 169

There was some evidence of a feeling that the
later judges might not have equalled the earlier
ones in professional ability. James L. Ridgely, of
Baltimore County, said 8 "It may be that we have
not in general obtained judges so profound in ju-
dicial learning as we had under the former sys-
term; but we have obtained judges who have in
the opinion of our people met the wants of the
people." In this connection it must be borne in
mind that the salaries of judges were still low,
and that the earnings of practitioners were steadily
rising above the amounts of judicial salaries, and
the inducements to men eligible for the bench were
thus, in the course of time, of less and less
strength; and this having been a possible factor
it is unsafe to attribute any small difference in
the professional ability of the judges, if there was
any, to the difference in methods of their selection.
The convention voted 51 to 19 in favor of an elec-
tive system. Judge Chambers and Oliver Miller
voted with the minority, favoring appointments.

The committee later reported a further plan,
that the judges should hold office during good be-
havior and until they attained the age of sixty
years, when they might be appointed for an ad-
ditional ten years in the discretion of the Gover-
nor by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate. There was a motion that all judges be
elected by vote over the state at large, another
that the chief judge only should be so elected.
An age limit of seventy years was proposed; and
a fifteen year term of office was moved and carried.
On motion of Mr. Miller, the allowance of three

6. Debates, 1390.

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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 169   View pdf image (33K)
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