November 3, 2023
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Supreme Court of Maryland holds oral arguments at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School in Prince George’s County
Maryland’s highest court hosts off-site oral arguments for the first time in recent history
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – On Friday, November 3, 2023, the Supreme Court of Maryland held oral arguments at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The arguments were heard at the high school’s Performing Arts Center auditorium and livestreamed. This marked the first time in recent history that the Supreme Court held oral arguments outside the City of Annapolis. The Supreme Court of Maryland plans to hold oral arguments at secondary or post-secondary educational institutions within the state one day each term year at geographically diverse locations.
“As it is the Judiciary’s mission to provide fair, effective and efficient justice for all, it is important to promote public understanding of the Supreme Court of Maryland, and the Judiciary as a whole,” said Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader, Supreme Court of Maryland. “Holding arguments outside of the city of Annapolis, and especially in our schools, provides an opportunity for additional civics education for students, teachers, and the community by enhancing public access. It also provides an important opportunity for the members of the court to engage with and hear from the community. We are grateful to the Prince George’s County Schools, Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School, and their respective staff and leadership for welcoming the court and making this special event happen.”
The Supreme Court’s off-site oral arguments are made possible by the Administrative Order on the Supreme Court of Maryland Sitting Temporarily Outside of the City of Annapolis issued on March 2, 2023. The administrative order calls for the rotation of the temporary sittings of the Supreme Court beginning in September Term 2023 with the Fourth Appellate Judicial Circuit, which includes Prince George’s County, Maryland, and proceeding thereafter in the numerical order of the circuits. The justices from each host circuit will be able to select the educational institutions to host oral arguments in the future, which is subject to the approval of the full Supreme Court.
“I am honored that the court selected Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School in Prince George’s County as the off-site location to host oral arguments,” said Justice Michele D. Hotten, Supreme Court of Maryland, representing the Fourth Appellate Judicial Circuit (Prince George’s County). “This brings the highest state court in Maryland directly to students so they can receive both an invaluable, first-hand civics education and an opportunity to speak with the justices and attorneys.”
“Hosting the oral arguments at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School is a testament to the importance of civic engagement and a unique opportunity for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) and our high school students to witness Maryland's highest court in action,” said Dr. Megan Ross, PGCPS Social Studies Supervisor. “This marks a profound moment of learning and inspiration for our future legal minds. Collaborating with the Maryland Judiciary has been a wonderful experience, and I wholeheartedly believe that this experience will leave a lasting impact on our students, empowering them to become informed, active, and engaged citizens in their communities.”
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases – Motor Vehicle Administration v. Rahq Deika Montana Usan and In the Matter of Mark McCloy. These cases involved appeals from state administrative agencies, the Motor Vehicle Administration in the first case and the Maryland State Police in the second case. An archived recording of the oral arguments can be found on the Supreme Court Webcast Archive web page.
The Supreme Court of Maryland now joins the Appellate Court of Maryland in hosting oral arguments outside of Annapolis. Under Maryland law, the Appellate Court of Maryland sits only in Annapolis with one exception: the court’s chief judge can set arguments at either of Maryland’s law schools. The appellate court has traditionally held one day of oral arguments at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in the fall and at University of Baltimore School of Law in the spring.