State Roundup: Church victims prepare to sue; state Supremes uphold digital ad tax; Alsobrooks jumps into Senate race as Raskin mulls possibility

State Roundup: Church victims prepare to sue; state Supremes uphold digital ad tax; Alsobrooks jumps into Senate race as Raskin mulls possibility

Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer who led George Floyd’s legal team, is representing some of the church abuse survivors. He spoke of them on Tuesday, saying, “They've suffered with these demons that were no fault of their own.” File photo "Ben Crump" by is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

WITH TIME LIMITS ABOLISHED, ABUSE VICTIMS PREPARE TO SUE CHURCH: Victims of sexual and physical abuse by priests and staff members at the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore are preparing to bring hundreds of cases against the church this fall. Lawyers are gearing up as Maryland is set to abolish the statute of limitations on civil suits for sex crimes on Oct. 1 after the General Assembly passed a bill getting rid of the limits in this year’s session. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

  • “Nobody was beyond this abuse,” Attorney Ben Crump proclaimed. “You have Black victims, white victims, Hispanic victims. You have men, women. It was little boys. It was little girls. They preyed on them all.” Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.

STATE SUPREMES SAY DIGITAL TAX IS LEGAL: The Supreme Court of Maryland issued an order overturning an Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge’s ruling that the state tax on digital ads is unconstitutional. In its four-page order, the court remanded the case back to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Alison Asti and ordered her to dismiss the case brought by Comcast of California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia LLC and others. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

  • Asti ruled that the tax on digital advertising violates the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibits discrimination against electronic commerce, as well as the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on state interference with interstate commerce. Her decision in October prompted former Comptroller Peter Franchot to call the tax “constitutionally questionable” and recommend against continuing to defend the law. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.

ALSOBROOKS JUMPS INTO RACE FOR CARDIN’s SENATE SEAT: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) announced Tuesday that she would be running for Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-Md.) seat in 2024. Alsobrooks released a campaign video Tuesday morning, just over a week after Cardin said publicly that he would not be running for reelection. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

  • Alsobrooks seeks to become the first woman in the state’s Capitol Hill delegation since 2017, when former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) retired and Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) lost in the race to succeed her. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
  • Alsobrooks, 52, is the fourth Democrat to announce a campaign in the week since Cardin said he would not run for a fourth term in 2024, joining U.S. Rep. David Trone and Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando as the highest-profile candidates to quickly jump in. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
  • Alsobrooks has been a rising star within the Democratic Party in Maryland since 2018, when she took the helm of Prince George’s County, long known as one of the wealthiest Black counties in America. She previously served as Prince George’s state’s attorney, saying in interviews she drew inspiration in her approach to nonviolent drug offenders from Vice President Kamala Harris, who developed diversion programs as the top prosecutor in San Francisco — and who supported Alsobrooks in her first bid for county executive. Meagan Flynn, Lateshia Beachum and Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.

RASKIN TO SPEND MONTH CONSIDERING SENATE RUN: U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Takoma Park) – who achieved national visibility as the lead House manager in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in 2021, and later as a member of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that year by Trump supporters — said Monday that he plans to spend “a month or so” considering whether to run for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin. Louis Peck/MoCo 360.

WHO’s IN; WHO’s OUT IN SENATE RACE: Confused by who is in and who is out in the race for the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin? Maybe this list will clarify things a bit. Staff/The Baltimore Sun.

VOGEL FORMALLY ANNOUNCES RUN FOR TRONE’s HOUSE SEAT: Freshman Del. Joe Vogel (D-Dist. 17) has announced he will run for Maryland congressional District 6 after its current representative, Democrat David Trone, said he would be running for U.S. Senate in a bid to succeed Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Vogel, 26, appears to be the first announced candidate of either major political party in the race. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

A BILL WITH LOTS OF SUPPORTS QUIETLY IS KILLED; FOR GOOD REASONS: You would think a bill in Annapolis that promised to alleviate the dire shortage of nurses in Maryland even a tiny, little bit, would be a slam dunk for passage. The issues are complicated, hard to explain and quite frankly, boring. The bills often involve fights pitting one set of health care professionals against another group of professionals about who qualifies to do what for patients. Len Lazarick/MarylandReporter.

COMMENTARY: A GOOD BILL IS ALLOWED TO DIE: Maryland’s 2023 legislative session has ended, and it is time to take account of legislative casualties. One such casualty was House Bill 96/Senate Bill 93, the Youth Equity and Safety Act, which was stalled in committee. This is a juvenile justice bill that would end, once and for all, the automatic charging of youth who commit any one of 33 offenses as if they were adults. It would end a practice that has failed young people and our communities. There are no good excuses for having done nothing on HB96/SB93. Carol Cichowski/Maryland Matters.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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