Two years after Bysiewicz, legislators still debate AG qualifications

Legislators still are debating the appropriate qualifications for attorney general, nearly two years after the Connecticut Supreme Court insisted that only lawyers with litigation experience were eligible.

For the second time in as many years, the legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved a bill Monday that would only require that candidates for attorney general have 10 years as a member of the Connecticut bar.

Current law requires a decade of “active practice,” which the court equated with litigation experience in a decision that ended the candidacy of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz for attorney general in 2010.

The decision means that lawyers with careers in academic or business law — the background of some prominent jurists from Connecticut, including a former Supreme Court chief justice – would have been ineligible to run for attorney general.

Connecticut has no professional requirements for its other five constitutional state officers, including the governor or the state treasurer, who is the sole fiduciary in charge of the state’s $25.4 billion pension fund.