The current Constitution of the State of Maryland was ratified on September 18, 1867. It is the fourth constitution of the state replacing the Maryland Constitution of 1864.
The Maryland Constitution begins with a Declaration of Rights and guarantees trial by jury, due process, freedom of the press and of religion. Moreover, it forbids the passage of ex post facto laws and cruel and unusual punishment.
The Constitution explicitly provides the separation of powers doctrine by clearly stating that “the Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers of Government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other; and no person exercising the functions of one of said Departments shall assume or discharge the duties of any other.”
Under Article 14, the constitution can be amended by:
- a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.
- a constitutional convention.
Article 14 also provides that in order to become part of the constitution, the proposed amendment must be approved by a majority vote statewide and specifically in the county to which it exclusively applies.