Another Distant Warning: ‘Civil Gideon’ and Fee Shifting

                                                                                                      November 2011                               Another Distant Warning   Earlier this year, we drew attention to an impending treasury raid sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union in the form of a study proposing a massive building program for the Baltimore City public schools, to be carried out through the use of >funny financing= in the form […]


NOW AVAILABLE MARION ELIZABETH RODGERS’ BALTIMORE BAR LIBRARY TALK ON “MENCKEN, RITCHIE AND PROHIBITION” AS PART OF PROHIBITION IN MARYLAND: A COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS including speeches and messages by Governor Albert Ritchie, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and members of Maryland’s prohibition-era congressional delegation, excerpts from the Wickersham report on the prohibition laws, and texts of […]

Turn Out the Lights

The current state administration likes to boast of its economic development record, but the best test of economic development is provided by the way that people behave in fact. For many years, Maryland was one of the fastest-growing states in the East. Its growth was spurred not only by the growth of the national government […]

The A.C.L.U. and Education Follies: Act II

Fresh from its advocacy of the Thornton Plan, which exploded current expense spending for schools in the name of a supposed constitutional imperative, the A.C.L.U. now seeks to duplicate this experience with school capital spending. It will be recalled that the A.C.L.U. brought a lawsuit, Bradford v. Board of Education, asserting that the education clause […]

For O’Malley, Politics Trump Policy

There are many resemblances between former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Gov. Martin O’Malley, but this election is not a choice between tweedledum and tweedledee. Mr. Ehrlich has compromised himself in conventional ways, most notably by signing an unaffordable Democrat-sponsored election-year increase in teachers’ pensions on which he should have bestowed a foredoomed veto. […]

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 […]

Obama Keynesian Gift Shop

The economists of this administration hold Keynesian beliefs, but their belief is in one-way Keynesianism. The stimulus package has not produced its expected multiplier effects for several reasons, but one of them surely is its superimposition not on a previously balanced budget but upon enormous structural deficits. No credible proposal has been forthcoming for the […]

Schools of thought on looming teacher layoffs

White House economic adviser Christina D. Romer tells us [“Keeping teachers in the classroom,” op-ed, May 28] that by “preventing layoffs we would save on unemployment insurance payments, food stamps and COBRA subsidies . . . and we would maintain tax revenues.” So much for productivity in the education system or anywhere in government. A […]

Policy Wonk’s Guide to the Gubernatorial Election

To the uninitiated, the choice between two remarkably similar candidates, Govs. O’Malley and Ehrlich, must seem like a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Both are candidates whose past appeals have rested on personalities rather than issues. Both have become expert at deferring hard fiscal choices. Neither has been vigorous in cutting budgets. Both have a […]

Now What For Obama?

Now that President Barack Obama has achieved the long-time goal of the Democratic Party of passing a comprehensive health reform bill, he must ask himself what comes next. He has achieved a great political victory but now comes the difficult part of paying for and administering the now greatly enlarged government responsibility for the nation’s […]