1922: Burning Tree is founded as an all-male club devoted exclusively to golf. Membership is limited to 250 resident and 250 nonresident members.
1965: Under a provision of the Maryland Code encouraging protection of open space, Burning Tree enters into a 48-year contract with the state: 200 acres are taxed as undeveloped; 25 acres, including buildings, are taxed at the "highest-rate" assessment.
1974: General Assembly prohibits the state from entering into tax-deferring contracts with clubs that discriminate; however, clubs intended to serve only one sex are exempted.
1980: Montgomery Del. Stewart Bainum Jr. introduces the first in a series of bills to rescind Burning Tree's tax exemption.
August 1983: Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs declares Burning Tree's exemption unconstitutional. Sachs sues in Montgomery County Circuit Court seeking declaratory judgment against Burning Tree; at the same time, now-state Sen. Bainum and his sister, Barbara Renschler, sue Burning Tree and the state.
December 1983: Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Calvin Sanders dismisses Sachs' suit. Sachs appeals to the Maryland Court of Appeals, which agrees to hear the case.
September 1984: Montgomery County Circuit Judge Irma Raker rules that Burning Tree's property tax exemption violates the state's Equal Rights Amendment. The attorney general's case in the Court of Appeals is still pending.
October 1984: Burning Tree appeals Judge Raker's ruling to Court of Appeals.
Dec. 23, 1985: The Court of Appeals rules that the loophole allowing Burning Tree to receive property tax exemptions is unconstitutional, but also rules that it cannot be separated from a general prohibition against sex discrimination in country clubs and throws both out, effectively allowing Burning Tree to continue receiving the tax break unless the General Assembly prohibits sex discrimination in country clubs.