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Posted at 10:09 PM ET, 11/ 3/2010

Lessons of the '68 con-con

By Margaret B. Mentzer, Beltsville

Regarding the Oct. 30 editorial "Ballot questions in Md., Va.":

The 1968 Maryland Constitution was not a "flop" but rather a "Magnificent Failure," as described in the 1970 book by that title, published by the National Municipal League. "All in all ... exceptionally fine procedures, dedicated individuals and basically sound decisions" proposed a four-tiered unified court system, lowered the voting age, added a lieutenant governor, extended the legislative session beyond 70 days. It removed local legislation from the General Assembly and gave more home rule to the counties.

Although defeated statewide (approved by the voters of only Prince George's and Montgomery counties), most of the reforms were subsequently passed as laws or constitutional amendments. I voted no on the ballot question for 2010, but my service as a delegate to the convention 43 years ago remains a highlight of my life.

By Margaret B. Mentzer, Beltsville  | November 3, 2010; 10:09 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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