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Joe Nathanson: MTA has to up its game

“Great Cities have Great Transportation: San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C. and New York. Why not Baltimore?” That’s the question posed on the website of Transit Choices, the local coalition of business organizations, universities, cultural institutions and community groups who are united by the vision of a more robust mass transit system in Baltimore. Their ultimate goal is “to transform Baltimore into a more livable, walkable 21st century City.” The limitations of Baltimore’s existing mass transit system are familiar to any who have used it. The various modes operated by the Maryland Transit Administration – Metro subway, MARC trains, light rail, and the core bus system – are largely disconnected and often fail to provide reliable service. The lack of a well-functioning transit system hampers the ability of Baltimore City and the region to attract and retain businesses, workers and the families that can contribute to the growth of the region.

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Wilkinson, Harshaw: GOP’s approach to immigration

Because the GOP base is vehemently opposed to undocumented immigrants, Republican presidential candidates tend to stress their commitment to ramped-up security and enforcement measures as a precursor to any resolution for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. ...

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C. Fraser Smith: A mayor’s test of leadership

She saw it coming. How could she not? Police officer-involved violence seemed to be sweeping the country. Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake was hoping that Baltimore wouldn’t become the latest Ferguson, Missouri, or North Charleston, South Carolina, or name your city. She arranged a meeting with black ministers. What could be done to deal with the sort of chaos that followed Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson? Historically, these men and women have been critical to keeping order. More accurate information, more quickly, she was told. What she feared – and more – was at hand. Baltimore had its own Michael Brown.

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Supreme Court is worried about excessive policing

Are the past year’s examples of racially charged police abuses from Ferguson to Staten Island to North Charleston affecting the U.S. Supreme Court? In a subtle way, the answer may well be yes. In the first evidence of an effect, the Supreme Court held Tuesday that a traffic stop can't be prolonged beyond the time that the police need to perform their basic functions. In a 6-3 opinion, the court said that the police can't perform a canine drug-sniff after a ticket has been issued -- even though, a decade ago, it held that a drug sniff that occurs during a lawful stop is perfectly constitutional.

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Rosen, Montgomery: A year later, opinion on informed consent has broad implications

In April 2014, Maryland’s highest court laid down a seminal opinion restating the doctrine of informed consent in Maryland, while addressing important issues of proof in informed consent lawsuits. The decision is a mixed bag for health care providers in Maryland. On the one hand, the decision helpfully makes expert testimony a legal requirement for informed consent cases, and sets a bar for that testimony to clear. On the other hand, that bar is set low and can now be cleared by a wider range of experts.

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Ramesh Ponnuru: Plenty of bad Social Security fixes

Social Security Works, a left-wing group, was quick on the draw. Within an hour of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s announcement that he was running for president, it issued a news release attacking him: “If Senator Marco Rubio had his way, Social Security’s very modest benefits, averaging just $1,330 a month for retired workers, would be cut.”

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Jack L. B. Gohn: Admirable disloyalty

E.M. Forster famously wrote: “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” I was reminded of that line watching Amy Herzog’s 2010 play After the Revolution, now in revival at Center Stage.

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