Maryland residents are subject to Maryland state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Maryland as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Maryland also has its own state laws. Maryland state laws include the Maryland Constitution, laws passed by the Maryland legislature and periodically codified in the Maryland Code, and decisions by courts that interpret Maryland laws.
Ratified in 1867, the Maryland Constitution contains 19 articles. Article X was repealed in the 1950s, and Article XI affects only the City of Baltimore. Article XIV outlines the processes for amending the Constitution. First, a proposed amendment will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature vote in its favor. The other way to amend the Constitution involves a constitutional convention. A proposal for a constitutional convention is automatically placed on a ballot at 20-year intervals. This occurred most recently in 2010. If an amendment applies to only one county, or to only the City of Baltimore, the amendment must be approved not only by a majority of voters statewide but also by a majority in the county or in Baltimore.
The Maryland Code contains the laws passed by the Maryland legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Maryland Constitution are often interpreted by the Maryland Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in the state, and by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, which is the intermediate appellate court. The federal Maryland District Court also issues decisions that may affect Maryland residents. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Maryland District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Fourth Circuit or from the Maryland Court of Appeals.