University of Baltimore Law Forum


Yosef Kuperman


This paper describes how Maryland switched from the life-tenured appointed judiciary under its original Constitution to an elected judiciary. It traces the history of judicial selection from the appointments after 1776 through the Ripper Bills of the early nineteenth century to the eventual adoption of judicial elections in 1850. It finds that the supporters of judicial elections had numerous complex motives that boiled down to trying to make the Judiciary less political but more publically accountable. At the end of the day, Marylanders trusted elections more than politicians.