- The law-and-order chairman of Judiciary; Vallario runs tight ship, hewing to belief that process is fair, right and key.
- A Democratic Contingency Plan on Same-Sex Marriage.
- Post, 10 Feb 2006 (by Matthew Mosk and Ann E. Marimow).
- [Comment: In other words, "law and order" Vallario is willing to compromise the independence of the judiciary for short-term partisan political gain.]
Persistent worries among Democrats about how -- and when -- Maryland's highest court will resolve the question of same-sex marriage have prompted a second attempt by House members to stop any ruling from taking effect before November's election.
[. . .]
The new Simmons bill would advise, but not compel, the court to stay any ruling that overturns state law, to give the legislature a chance to address such a decision with a constitutional amendment.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr . (D-Prince George's) helped craft the proposal and said yesterday he thought the approach was prudent.
[. . .].
- Ivey chatter continues.
- Gazette, 10 Feb 2006 (Thomas Dennison).
Talk that Prince George’s State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey may run for statewide office this year will not go away. . . Ivey tells us his plans haven’t changed. ‘‘I don’t foresee a draft Glenn Ivey movement,” he said.
- Gazette, 10 Feb 2006 (Tiesha Higgins).
Jonn Mack, Prince George’s Young Dems president, wanted to make his presence felt statewide when he jumped in the race for president of the state group just days before the Feb. 4 vote. He won. . . . Mack is the second president of the organization to hail from Prince George’s and the first African American elected to the post. . . .
- Dems ask themselves: Who’s in charge here?
- Gazette, 10 Feb 2006 (Barry Rascovar, Columnist).
. . . Maryland Democrats lack a titular leader and cohesiveness. They are grappling for policy positions on issues that could unite the party as they prepare to take on an incumbent Republican governor. Their leaders are all over the lot attempting to define a focused agenda.
We’re witnessing that in Annapolis. There’s no unified House-Senate Democratic program. The party’s candidates for governor have failed to propose comprehensive legislative agendas that could be viewed as a Democratic alternative.
[. . .]
The same-sex marriage issue also spotlights the fact that the next governor gets to name three new judges to Maryland’s highest court. If re-elected, Ehrlich said last week, he’d choose Court of Appeals judges who share his ‘‘philosophical orientation.” Democrats are screaming that this amounts to a far-right litmus test.
Yet Ehrlich’s record on picking judges is devoid of any such bias. He hasn’t resorted to litmus tests. He’s played fewer political games than did Democratic Gov. Parris Glendening, who named the Democratic Party chairman to the state’s second-highest court, O’Malley’s wife to a District Court seat and a political ally with a miserable judicial temperament, former Del. Richard Palumbo of Prince George’s County, to the District Court.
Ehrlich hasn’t been agenda-driven in judicial selections. He has refused to play politics with judgeships, which is one reason the governor is at odds with Senate President Mike Miller.
There’s no question the governor wants this issue to resonate in black and white evangelical churches. He needs to energize his conservative Christian base — and win converts in African-American congregations — without resorting to inflammatory rhetoric.
[. . .]
Democrats, meanwhile, are left grasping for a unified policy line with winning public appeal. Their failure to unite behind a common position on same-sex marriage illustrates the larger dilemma they face in November against a Republican governor with a public agenda that seems to have found a degree of public acceptance.
- Change in animal-cruelty law sought; Bill would close loophole regarding charges against those who inflict unnecessary pain.
. . . Some delegates worried that the new law might put an animal's rights over a person's right to self-defense. "If an animal attacks you, how far can you go?" asked Del. Darryl A. Kelley, a Prince George's County Democrat. "Is it that the first kick was justifiable but not the second and third kicks?" . . .