Tag Archives: Chris Shank

Hogan picks Sen. Christopher Shank as crime chief

I had a hunch Gov.-elect Larry Hogan was going to make waves on issues of crime and punishment, and now he has selected Sen. Christopher Shank of Hagerstown as the new executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. While Shank is among the most conservative Republicans in the Maryland Senate, he has also been a leader in finding common ground with liberal Democratic lawmakers to rethink old policies on surveillance and civil liberties issues, with a mind to keeping the law enforcement process from trampling on the constitutional rights of individuals. Here’s a post I did last year at Cato on a promising package of reforms endorsed by Sens. Shank and Jamie Raskin (D-Silver Spring) on topics that include email surveillance, location tracking, drones, and automatic license plate recorders. Definitely an appointment that will bear watching.

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Filed under Policy

Maryland constitution still bars nonbelievers from holding office

The restriction, seen as unenforceable given the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1963 decision in Torcaso v. Watkins, lingers on in Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas as well as Maryland. [New York Times] A general revision of the Maryland Constitution for other reasons would appear to be the best practical chance of getting rid of the embarrassing relic; the Times quotes Del. Jamie Raskin (D-Silver Spring), who comes off well, and Sen. Chris Shank (R-Hagerstown), who alas comes off less well.

Despite Torcaso, the largely forgotten restrictions have served as fuel for culture warriors: in Austin, Texas, of all places, a council candidate has raised the question of whether her opponent can serve in office under the Texas Constitution considering what she alleges is his religious unbelief. [Texas Monthly]

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Filed under Law