Terrorism trials: no new issues, no need to panic

The controversy over the upcoming Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial has not enlightened the public. Those who would deny rights to persons denounced by the president and those who automatically reject all alternatives to criminal trials have seen to that. Prisoners of war are persons captured in uniform of whose enemy status there is no doubt. […]

Beyond drug law reform: We need a new Wickersham Commission

Change is in the offing for U.S. drug policy. More than a dozen states, including Maryland, have adopted medical marijuana laws. Attorney General Eric Holder, a decisive member of a sometimes indecisive administration, stated that federal laws against marijuana possession would not be enforced against persons immune under such state laws. Various jurisdictions in California […]

Reforming Certiorari Jurisdiction

This indignant screed is prepared in support of a proposal circulated by Professors Paul Carrington and Roger Cramton and endorsed by several dozen judges, academic lawyers and practitioners. The proposal would somewhat enlarge the Supreme Court’s docket and transfer control of most of it to a certiorari division of the Supreme Court consisting of five […]

Of ‘Czars’ and History

The recent Senate hearing on the Obama administration’s ‘czars’ deserves more attention than the facetious comments of Dana Milbank. We see now the latest instance of a bi-partisan and recurrent problem, last seriously discussed at the time of Watergate. At that time the constitutional scholar Alexander Bickel observed “In opposing cant of ‘not men, but […]

At the Court of the Sun King: The Vice of Centralization

What can be said of the Obama administration? This is not Roosevelt’s 100 days: it has left no permanent impression on the American economy or government. This is no reform administration, though it follows 16 years of inadequate presidential leadership. When it is considered that the Defense, State, Treasury and Justice Departments are all led […]

Reform crime laws

Let’s hear from the state’s attorney candidates on peremptory challenges, drug offenses In a little more than two weeks, Baltimore City voters will participate in a seriously contested election for state’s attorney. There are various suggestions for rendering the criminal justice system more efficient. “Smoking out” the candidates would be useful to city voters next […]

Sun ignores facts in DHR suit

Your editorial of August 5 on the Massinga foster care decision fails to make clear the reasons why Attorney General Douglas Gansler and Judge J. Frederick Motz properly felt that a further hearing was required (“A breach of trust,” Aug. 6). The recent decision of the Supreme Court disrupts cozy arrangements between advocacy groups and […]

Maryland and the Stimulus: Responsibility Deferred

Few states can have used the benefits accruing to them in the Obama administration’s stimulus bill as irresponsibly as Maryland. We may pass in review the bill’s effect on Maryland public policy: Pension and Retirement Systems The Calvert Institute and the Maryland Public Policy Foundation recently published a study of Maryland’s public pension and retiree […]

Not Just for Mother in Law: Accessory Apartments Benefit Society and the Economy and It’s Time for Tax Credits to Promote Them

baltimoresun.com Not just for mother-in-law Accessory apartments benefit society and the economy, and it’s time for tax credits to promote them By Patrick H. Hare and George W. Liebmann January 29, 2009 Twenty years ago, we separately produced publications urging that governments should provide incentives for the creation of accessory apartments (sometimes called “mother-in-law apartments”) […]

Passing The Buck: Maryland’s Unfunded Liabilities For State And Local Retirees

SUMMARY Maryland’s state and local pension and retirement benefits plans are in for some hard times ahead. Facing budget shortfalls, governments are underfunding their retirement plans, while at the same time expanding the benefit promises to public employees. This unsustainable financing places both taxpayers and public employees at risk. Today, the Maryland State Retirement and […]