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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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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