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Pipkin: Special Session Violated State Constitution

Pipkin and Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller disagree on exactly how long the Senate was out before returning to work Tuesday night.

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 . 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.

Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller disagreed with Pipkin. [Listen to the exchange here beginning at the 1 minute 27 second mark.]

"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."

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Buzz Beeler August 15, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Bryan you mean the state is following the lead of Baltimore County? Is Homan working part time for the state now?
William H. Campbell August 15, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Gee, Mr. Miller can't count and doesn't know how to use a calendar. I am shocked!
Joe August 15, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Well then Senator Pipkin, do something about it like sue the boy wonder. You sued him and won the Wal Mart bill. Don;t talk, take him to court! Its what they do so well.
Skip727 August 16, 2012 at 10:58 AM
In case anyone missed it, the governor violated Article II, Section 16 of the Maryland constitution by calling this session without giving the "extraordinary occasion" required in the constitution. Yet, none of our elected officials mentioned that BEFORE the session took place. Just saying.
Buzz Beeler August 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Skip, it's amazing that anyone with a D in front of their name never draws the scrutiny of the the state's AG or special prosecutor. They"ll go after AA County and the robocalls among others but it's hands off on O'Malley. Interestingly, Jane Miller's report to the state police superintendent and one of O'Malleys close friends and his obligation under the law to live in this state went no where. It's also rather strange that no agency from the state (maybe the IRS) is looking into the superintendent's tax returns involving this issue on declaring two homes as his residence. I've had enough of this type of liberal leadership, or more specifically the lack thereof any leadership and can only hope we see a change of direction in the slide of this state come election time..
FIFA August 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM
I have a this oceanfront property in Montana I'd like to sell you too.
Buzz Beeler August 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I can dream anyway. In my case though their nightmares.
Paul W. Ross August 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM
FIFA's comment sounds like something Joe Biden would say. LOL
MD Mom August 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM
It's a monopoly and they know it, they can do whatever they want with total disregard for any Constitution! They OWN the House, the Senate and the Court system why bother with little things like rule of law.......................
Tim August 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Nah, stop insulting FIFA like that. Joe Biden needs to be ditched, like yesterday. Sarah Palin, for the first time ever, said something intelligent the other day "Obama should ditch Biden and get Hillary". Granted, Hillary probably wants nothing to do with being a VP, however, even some other random guy would be better then this village idiot for the Obama ticket.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM
But crazy Uncle Joe read those words about chaining people from his teleprompter so it was not a gaffe but a premeditated racial statement to the crowd in a former slave state. I bet Biden one day says the slaves were taken to freedom on the Inter-Continental Railroad.
Steve August 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Another Swiiing and a miss. MArcus Brown lives in Baltimore and pays taxes in Maryland. They should go after AA Co. It's a mess. They should have nailed them when the AA PoPo caught the County Executive having sex in the parking lot of the mall but they swept it under the rug. Robo calls are illegal. What part of "illegal" don't you understand??
Buzz Beeler August 16, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Hey Steve read what I write and don't interject supposition into the equation. You are correct that there are issues in AA County and robocalls are illegal and so is declaring tax credits regarding Miller's report on the MSP superintendent and living out of state. I was using that as a reference point to illustrate the seemingly partisan application of justice. As I have always stated the D's and R's mean nothing to me but the issue of - as Spike Lee would say - doing the right thing does. MD Mom well written.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 01:34 PM
"Hey Steve read what I write and don't interject supposition into the equation. " He has that terrible habit don;t he?
Buck Harmon August 16, 2012 at 01:42 PM
If it weren't for a corrupt government, we would have no government...cliques prevail.
Buzz Beeler August 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Joe, when I write something positive he remains silent. With him it's more personal like some sort of obsession. Buck that seems to be the case. Sometimes I think that the equation you commented on is a matter of stature with these guys. There like rogue cops.
Paul Amirault August 16, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Buzz, I think the important point is the following. If you take your sentence and reverse it for D's and R's and liberals and conservatives and go to a 100% controlled Republican state you will see Democrats writing the exact same sentence you are. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." - Lord Acton - 1887
Steve August 16, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Like I said the Superintendent lives in Baltimore. Just because you wish something to be true doesn't make it true. Thats being delusional.
Buzz Beeler August 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Paul can't argue with that comment. What amazes me is that with one tinny letter in front of your name, your brain matter seems to lose its ability to be independent. I think the issue deals with tribal ones, where you are thrust into a more or less a social group and and most humans will do, they attempt to accommodate the agenda of that group to enhance their own standing within said group. It's like picking your friends. You don't hang with a group who is in direct contrast to you values. I often wonder if we abolished the various fractions within our government if our representatives would make decisions without the lobbying of those two letters? The funny thing a lobbyist can speak and the letters can't.
Buzz Beeler August 16, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Steve, do you ever realize how foolish you look when you make comments without any forethought. Did you view the I-Team story on the issue by Jayne, or are you just popping off again clueless to any of the reported facts. I suppose you did your own investigative story on the subject and like everything else you are a personal friend of the superintendent. How is Cole Weston since you claim he was you neighbor and you were going to talk to him over one of my blogs.
mike e August 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Not a big Pipkin fan and don't consider myself a dem or rep, but this guy Thomas V. "Mike" Miller has to go. He has been in his position way to long and seems to be the deciding factor on most major policy decisions in MD law. Politicians are like diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reasons.
Buzz Beeler August 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Steve, I'm still waiting for your response since you wrote that foolish comment. Or are you just thinking that we should take your vaulted word over an Emmey winning investigative reporter?
Buck Harmon August 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I REALLY agree with this comment mike e.
Steve August 19, 2012 at 03:16 AM
"Vaulted Word" What an illiterate moron.
1ke August 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM
The man watched too much of the Immie-award winning Olympics.
Klaus Hergesheimer August 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Yep, all liberals are corrupt but not conservatives, right? BOTH parties are corrupt in case you haven't noticed.
Buzz Beeler August 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM
vault·ed    [vawl-tid] Show IPA adjective 1. constructed or covered with a vault, as a building or chamber. 2. provided with a vault. 3. resembling a vault: the vaulted sky. The use of the word was meant to show that you are like the sky when it comes to issues and cover everything, all topics, all things said and done you have knowledge over all. Speaking of moron, since when do you capitalized the word "What" in the use of your sentence. It means the beginning of a new sentence and you never used a period to end your first one. Where is your proof that the the Superintendent of the MSP lives in Maryland as you previously stated?
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