AG Gansler won't face impeachment

John O'Brien Apr. 1, 2010, 7:00pm


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler won't be impeached because of a February opinion he authored on same-sex marriage.

Del. Don Dwyer, a Republican, brought articles of impeachment against Gansler on Wednesday, but the House Judiciary Committee rejected the measure in a 15-5 later in the day, a Baltimore Sun report says.

The House had voted 101-39 to send the articles to the committee.

State Sen. Richard Madaleno had requested an opinion addressing whether out-of-state same-sex marriages could be recognized in Maryland. Gansler wrote on Feb. 23 that they could.

"Such marriages may be recognized in several ways. First, legislation enacted by the General Assembly could provide for recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages generally, or for particular purposes," Gansler said.

"Second, in the absence of legislation, the Court of Appeals, applying common law choice-of-law principles, could decide that such marriages will be recognized in Maryland, either generally or in particular circumstances.

"Finally, a state agency may also address the recognition of out-of-state marriages on particular matters within that agency's jurisdiction, so long as the agency's action is consistent with any relevant statutes and court decisions, including federal laws that may govern the agency's activities."

Dwyer alleged Gansler's opinion went against state policy.

Another state attorney general recently had articles of impeachment filed against him. Georgia Republicans brought them Tuesday against Attorney General Thurbert Baker for not joining in a multi-state legal challenge of federal health care reform.

Gov. Sonny Perdue had asked him to.

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