Maryland Senate passes Maryland Renaming Court of Appeals Amendment

Maryland and New York are the only states in the nation that do not call its court of last resort the supreme court, but that could change after November 3, 2020.

On March 13, 2020, the Maryland Senate passed Senate Bill 0393 by a vote of 45-1. If the bill is passed by the General Assembly, it will appear on the November 3, 2020, ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment.

Maryland’s court of last resort is currently called the Maryland Court of Appeals. The bill seeks to make the following changes:

  1. Rename the Maryland Appellate Court to be the Supreme Court of Maryland,
  2. Rename the Court of Special Appeals to be the Maryland Appellate Court,
  3. Change the title of a Judge of the Court of Appeals to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of Maryland, and
  4. Change the name of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Maryland.

In order to add a legislatively referred constitutional amendment to the ballot in Maryland, it must be approved by at least 60% of both houses of the legislature.

The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Douglas Peters (D), Sen. Jill Carter (D), Sen. Brian Feldman (D), Sen. Guy Guzzone (D), Sen. Nancy King (D), Sen. Susan Lee (D), Sen. William Smith (D), Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher (D), and Sen. Chris West (R).

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