Power to the Attorney General

  • Published in State

Democrats look to expand attorney general powers to sue the federal government


The General Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that will give the state’s attorney general more power to sue the federal government on the state’s behalf.

After several executive orders from President Donald J. Trump alarmed Democratic leaders in Annapolis, members of the General Assembly, along with Attorney General Brian Frosh, have crafted a bill to expand the attorney general’s powers in the state. The bill passed the House of Delegates Wednesday after passing the Senate last week. The bill does not require the governor’s signature.

“Frankly, the need for this arises from the, I would say, erratic and implosive and you might even say reckless nature of what’s going in the past few weeks,” Frosh said in a committee hearing on the bill. “There’s been blizzard of executive orders, many of which are ill-advised.”


Hogan, O’Malley agree on gerrymandering reform

  • Published in State

Maryland’s two most recent governors agree on one of the most divisive issues in the state – gerrymandering.

Gov. Larry Hogan had faint praise for his predecessor, former Gov. Martin O’Malley, after getting wind of remarks O’Malley made at a speech at Boston College.

In his speech, which O’Malley published online in January, O’Malley called for a nonpartisan commission to draw congressional districts, a reform that Republicans in Maryland are in support of.

“America needs non-partisan redistricting commissions not only for drawing Congressional districts every ten years, but for state legislative districts as well,” O’Malley said. “This simple reform, already being adopted in some states, must become the new norm of American democracy.”


"Intent To Discriminate"

  • Published in News

ACLU and county residents join in fight against Trump travel ban


The American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs, including several county residents, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Maryland’s Southern Division against President Donald J. Trump and members of his administration, including Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The suit challenges Trump’s recent travel ban, alleging it is unconstitutional. 

Plaintiffs allege the ban “violates the Constitution - including the First Amendment's prohibition of government establishment of religion and the Fifth Amendment's guarantees of equal treatment under the law - and federal laws,” according to a ACLU news release. 


First Lady Melania Trump settles complaint against local blogger

  • Published in News

A lawyer representing first lady Melania Trump said Tuesday his client has reached a settlement involving payment and a retraction with regard to her defamation complaint against a Gaithersburg blogger.

Attorney Matthew Blackett, on behalf of Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said the first lady had settled the case.

“The First Lady of the United States has settled her lawsuit against Webster Griffin Tarpley of Maryland,” Blackett said. “Mr. Tarpley has issued the attached retraction and apology to Mrs. Trump and her family, and agreed to pay her a substantial sum as a settlement.”


You Speak Up!

  • Published in Local

Bulger expresses concerns for suit against Metro over proposed service cuts

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As the Metro board prepares to vote on a proposed service cut that could adversely change the experience on Metro for thousands of riders, a board committee member questions Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s analysis of equity in the proposal.


Incoming First Lady visits Rockville

  • Published in Local

Melania Trump 8 February 2016Incoming First Lady Melania Trump COURTESY PHOTO  

Incoming First Lady Melania Trump visited Montgomery County Circuit Court as part of her defamation lawsuit against a local blogger Webster Griffin Tarpley and the Daily Mail, her attorney Charles J. Harder said.

“Mrs. Trump was not required to attend the court conference, but chose to do so, to meet the judge, meet opposing counsel, and show her commitment to the case,” Harder said.


Coalition sues County over pesticide ban

  • Published in Local

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A coalition of lawn care companies and Montgomery County residents are suing the County government, saying a local law passed in 2015 preempts state law on pesticides.

Filed Monday in Montgomery County Circuit, the plaintiff claimed the County Council did not have the authority to pass the Healthy Lawns Act, which bans chemical pesticide on public and private land.

The Healthy Lawns Act is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2018 and would make Montgomery one of the first counties to pass such a ban.

“This is really for us a continuation our really just about two year effort to oppose the passage of this measure,” said Karen Reardon, spokesperson for Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, a national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors of pesticides and a plaintiff in the lawsuit.


"This...Is About Justice"

  • Published in Local

Flower Branch residents file suit after apartment fire claims seven lives

WASHINGTON – With chants of “justice” and “yes we can,” Flower Branch Apartments tenants announced Wednesday they filed two lawsuits against Washington Gas and Kay Management after a fire killed seven people and displaced about 100 others.

The Silver Spring tenants spoke outside the office of WGL Energy, which owns Washington Gas. The law firms Bailey and Glasser, LLC and Gupta Wessler, PLLC are representing the tenants.

 “Seven people died but no one is saying who is responsible for this. Neither the state, the county nor the federal government has stepped forward to the victims to give them the answers they are entitled to,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA an immigrant advocacy organization.


Residents sue over Westbard

  • Published in Local

Thirty-three Bethesda and Chevy Chase residents sued the Montgomery County government Monday in an effort to stop the County Council from allowing the development of the Westbard Sector Plan.

The plan, as approved in May, would allow developers to build hundreds of new residential and commercial units between Westbard Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, less than a mile from the Washington, D.C. border.

Opponents say the development would exacerbate existing traffic congestion and school overcrowding and create environmental problems through more greenhouse gas emissions from more vehicles on the road.

The SaveWestbard group filed the complaint in Montgomery County Circuit Court Monday through their attorney Michele Rosenfeld, eight days before the County Council is due to vote on changing zoning laws in the area so it allows the master plan.

“We concluded that there was basis to challenge in court because we believe the council did not follow the required process in filing the Westbard Sector Plan,” said Rosenfeld.


Flower Branch tenants plan to sue after fatal fire

  • Published in Local

Flower Branch fire 9-7-16CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres speaks in front of tenants who lost their homes during the fatal Flower Branch Apartments fire last month. He announced the tenants plan to file a lawsuit seeking damages but they did not announce who they planned to sue. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

SILVER SPRING – Saying they seek justice and compensation, residents from the Flower Branch Apartments said they will file a law suit after an Aug. 10 fire killed seven people and destroyed one of the apartment buildings.

“I believe that it is very important to make sure that those families, these families are going to be compensated by what happened,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, who spoke for the residents Wednesday at a press conference by the Arliss Street site. “But we are also going to make sure that bring justice for our community and all, for all of our communities. That for us is very important.”

Torress said the residents hired the law firms Bailey-Glasser and Gupta-Wessler to represent them.

Cary Joshi, an attorney representing from Bailey-Glasser, said the firm plans on conducting an investigation to determine who they believe is responsible before filing suit.

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