Will O’Malley Place a Judicial Stranglehold on the Free State?

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley faces a unique opportunity (and responsibility). He is poised to select three members of Maryland’s highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the three judges to be replaced are three of the more conservative (an oxymoron for the Maryland court) members. Will the Governor appoint judges who will interpret the law or will we wind up with a state hight court who chooses to act more as a uber legislature?

One concern we are facing regarding these appointments is the replacement for retiring judge Dale Cathell. Judge Cathell’s replacement must come from one of the nine Eastern Shore counties. To date the position has not been advertised; yet we are hearing rumors that O’Malley has settled on his choice.

If O’Malley does appoint Wicomico attorney Mike Pretl to Maryland’s high court this would be a grave indication of things to come. Pretl, who has lived on the Shore a relatively short time and whose practice is focused on work for labor-backed and healthcare related groups was a key player in the fight for the “Wal-Mart bill”. He is a strong backer of a single payer healthcare policy, although he denies that he advocates socialized medicine (a rose by any other name). His work with the “Maryland Healthcare for All! Coalition” is one example of Pretl’s leftist leanings.

Because of the current disparity between Democrat and GOP members in the Maryland Senate, the only recourse citizens have in fighting leftist appointments by O’Malley is to vigorously lobby Democrat Senators to stop such nominations.

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