The Maryland Senate may have violated the Maryland Constitution this week when it adjourned last week and didn't return until Tuesday night, according to Sen. E.J. Pipkin.
The upper Eastern Shore Republican first made the claim Tuesday night and then again Wednesday in an email statement.
"The state constitution seems pretty clear to me," said Pipkin in his statement. "Once again, the citizens witnessed a legislature operate to its own set of rules with little regard to the State constitution," stated Pipkin. "With this clear violation of the constitutional rules, I am concerned whether the legislation would stand a court challenge. Considering the Governor, the President, and the Speaker have had months to orchestrate this special session, there is no reason for this type of short cut and maneuvering. The citizens deserve better."
The state constitution requires that neither the House nor the Senate adjourn for more than three days without the two-thirds vote of the other chamber.
Last week the Senate adjourned on Friday evening after completing two days of work on pit bull and expanded gambling bills. The senators returned to work Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Pipkin, in statements on the Senate floor Tuesday and in his statement, that the Friday to Tuesday hiatus was a four-day gap and a violation of the constitution.
"We haven't been gone more than three days," Miller said Tuesday night.
"[The constitution] says more than three days," Miller said, adding that he was ruling "its three days."
Pipkin would not relent.
"For clarity's sake, it's three days how?" said Pipkin.
"Three days, three days," Miller said, adding that the attorney general ruled the absence was constitutional.
"We haven't been gone more than three days," said Miller. "I've been here every day. The chair rules we haven't been gone more than three days."
Miller later explained that the difference was because of the use of legislative days verses calendar days.
"The Constitution makes no mention of legislative days," said Pipkin in his statement Wednesday. "I find it hard to believe that when the authors were writing this section of the constitution they were talking about legislative days. A day is a day."