Court of Special Appeals Holds "En Banc" Hearing Concerning Documents in NAACP/ACLU "Driving While Black" Case

Affiliate: ACLU of Maryland
September 29, 2009 12:00 am

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On Tuesday, September 29, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held an unusual “en banc” hearing in a lawsuit brought by the Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in which the Maryland State Police (MSP) has been found to have violated the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) by improperly withholding documents that would show whether it has meaningfully investigated complaints of racial profiling in the wake of a federal court consent decree in the ACLU’s “Driving While Black” litigation.

Oral arguments were heard before a three-judge panel in the case on May 11, but on July 31 the Court decided to re-hear the appeal before all 13 Court of Special Appeals judges. Such full court hearings by the intermediate appellate court are extremely rare, and the ACLU hopes that the hearing before the full Court signifies the Court’s recognition of the extreme public interest in the issue of racial profiling and that the Court will hold the MSP accountable by requiring it to provide the documents.

> Read more about “Driving While Black” in Maryland
> Read an Editorial from the Baltimore Sun about the case

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