John J. Connolly
I am a Maryland lawyer and an occasional writer on legal and other issues. This site collects articles and commentary I have published and self-published in my personal capacity over the years. Views expressed in these articles are solely my own and do not constitute legal advice.
Last update: April 7, 2021
Submit comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pointless Rant on the Changing Name of our High Court
Wherein I rise in support of "Court of Appeals of Maryland" -- the name, not the institution. (To be clear, this piece is classified as humor, no matter how unfunny individual readers may find it.)
Black History Month Contribution
February 15, 2021
This article considers legislation a border state enacted during the slavery era for the purpose of subjugating its Black residents, whether free or slave. The article postulates that these anachronistic laws reveal modern truths about racial discrimination; in particular, the ruling class’s capacity for rationalizing the immorality of slavery and racial oppression by promulgating laws and official state practices that were by turns cruel, petty, petulant, patronizing, incoherent, and absurd. The state’s laws at the time reflect the white populace’s broad belief that Great Britain created Maryland’s racial problem by forcibly transporting indigenous Africans to a land where they could not compete with whites, and that the problem would be solved only when the descendants of those slaves returned to Africa. All this is presented from the perspective of a modern white male Maryland lawyer who has never experienced racism. The article closes with a reflection on the author’s family history.
In Defense of Judicial Elections (Mar. 2020)
The bench, the bar, and the academy don't much like judicial elections, while legislators and the public are not so sure. Would the framers of the Maryland constitutions have anything to add to the debate?
The Maryland Constitution and Federal Impeachment (Feb. 2020)
Does the Maryland Constitution have anything to say about whether the federal Impeachment Clause requires "criminal-like" conduct? Not much, I think, but read the article and let me know.
Is Maryland's Oath of Office Intentionally Subversive of Federal Authority? (published January 21, 2020, in Baltimore Bar Library newsletter).
All Maryland state officials must take an oath that was written in 1867, two years after the Civil War ended. Do officials know what obligations they are undertaking? Do I? Read the article and let me know.