University of Denver

Lengthy terms, discipline process cloak Maryland judges from scrutiny

Lengthy terms, discipline process cloak Maryland judges from scrutiny

Baltimore’s highest-ranking judge faces removal for misconduct. City judges are criticized for their handling of gun cases during a record spike in violent crime. And landlord-tenant judges are undergoing retraining after multiple studies found them misapplying housing laws.

Amid the recent string of bad news about the bench, calls are intensifying for Maryland to establish a program to evaluate judges — a method endorsed by the American Bar Association and recommended nearly two decades ago by the state’s leading legal minds.

Maryland judges serve what are believed to be the longest terms in the nation — 15 years for elected Circuit Court jurists, a decade for appointed...

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