Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for governor of Maryland, not only is an acolyte of former President Donald Trump, but chartered buses to take protesters to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Michael Peroutka, the Republican nominee for attorney general, was a member of the League of the South, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a hate group. Peroutka once said that he was still angry that Maryland did not secede from the Union during the Civil War.
Cox and Peroutka are very different from past Republican candidates for governor and attorney general. We expect that both candidates will face many questions between now and November regarding their policy positions. We have a few to start the ball rolling.
For Cox, we have questions about judicial appointments. Past governors, including Republicans Robert Ehrlich and Larry Hogan, have taken a largely nonideological stance with respect to judicial appointments. Both Ehrlich and Hogan appointed Republicans and Democrats with sterling credentials to the bench.
We would like to know what Cox would look for in judicial picks. Would he look for the kind of judges that Donald Trump appointed to the federal bench? Would he have any ideological tests for judges he would appoint?
For Peroutka, we have questions about his neo-Confederate leanings. Will he enforce Maryland’s civil rights laws? How will he deal the many legal issues regarding abortion in the wake of the Dobbs decision, including states attempting to prevent their citizens from traveling to Maryland for abortions or penalizing women who have legal abortions in Maryland.
Hogan has opined that Cox’s nomination has virtually guaranteed that the Republicans will lose elections in Maryland this coming November. We take nothing for granted. But the people of Maryland should have clear answers from Cox and Peroutka about judicial appointments and civil rights – and other important issues – before November.
Editorial Advisory Board members Gary E. Bair, Arthur F. Fergenson, Roland Harris and Debra G. Schubert did not participate in this opinion.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
James B. Astrachan, Chair
James K. Archibald
Gary E. Bair
Andre M. Davis
Arthur F. Fergenson
Julie C. Janofsky
Ericka N. King
Angela W. Russell
Debra G. Schubert
H. Mark Stichel
The Daily Record Editorial Advisory Board is composed of members of the legal profession who serve voluntarily and are independent of The Daily Record. Through their ongoing exchange of views, members of the board attempt to develop consensus on issues of importance to the bench, bar and public. When their minds meet, unsigned opinions will result. When they differ, or if a conflict exists, majority views and the names of members who do not participate will appear. Members of the community are invited to contribute letters to the editor and/or columns about opinions expressed by the Editorial Advisory Board.