Bysiewicz Can Run for AG

An unusual case in which Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz sued to prove she is eligible to run for attorney general is over.

A Superior Court judge decided on Wednesday that she meets the qualifications to hold the office of attorney general.

The decision deals a blow to her political challengers.

Judge Michael Sheldon ruled Bysiewicz "has engaged in active practice at the bar of this state ... for at least 10 years."

The decision comes less than three weeks before Democrats will meet to endorse a candidate.

Bysiewicz brought up the suit after a Democratic blogger posed the question of whether she had the required 10 years of active legal experience, prompting Bysiewicz to sue her own office and the state Democrats.


The Associated Press left messages seeking comment from Bysiewicz, her attorney and the attorney for the Connecticut Republican Party, which challenged her credentials.

Bysiewicz worked as a corporate attorney for six years before being elected to the legislature and later as Secretary of the State, a constitutional office she has held for nearly 12 years. But, she was also trying to prove that her work as Secretary of the State counted toward the 10 years of required active legal practice.

She argued that work such as news conferences to testimony she provided to the General Assembly should count toward that time.

In his ruling – a 93 page document -- Sheldon outlined several ways in which he found Bysiewicz's work helped her meet the requirements.

"The court finds the plaintiff has devoted a significant portion of her time in office to safeguarding the interests of Connecticut businesses and voters by monitoring federal legislation, and keeping a close eye on new federal mandates, which Connecticut must implement in order not to be itself in serious jeopardy," he said.

Bysiewicz also challenged the constitutionality of the law that requires attorney general candidates to have at least 10 years of active legal practice. Sheldon said he had "no occasion to reach and decide" that challenge.

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