The Volokh Conspiracy

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Maryland Joins Most Other States in How It Names Its Courts


By nearly 75%-25%, Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment that renames the "Maryland Court of Appeals" to "Maryland Supreme Court" (since it's the highest court in the state), and the "Maryland Court of Special Appeals" to "Maryland Appellate Court" (since it's the intermediate appellate court).

I know of no plans for New York to change its approach, which has caused much confusion. West Virginia calls its high court the court the "Supreme Court of Appeals"; Maine and Massachusetts call theirs the "Supreme Judicial Court"; and Texas and Oklahoma have a "Supreme Court" that's the highest court for civil cases and a "Court of Criminal Appeals" that's the highest court for criminal cases.

No word on whether there are plans to dye Maryland judicial robes the more familiar black, instead of this:

Source: Maryland Courts site

Thanks to Michael Rosman for the pointer.

UPDATE: @JackGFla points out that I'm behind the times—West Virginia now has an Intermediate Court of Appeals, which was authorized in 2021. Note, though, that the Supreme Court of Appeals web page seems to be also behind the times, still saying that "West Virginia is one of only nine jurisdictions with a single appellate court" (unless I'm misinterpreting that line).