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by Sharon Rondeau

Susan Bysiewicz, CT Secretary of the State (D)

(Apr. 14, 2010) — Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz is getting her day in court, beginning today, to determine whether or not she is eligible to serve as Attorney General based on the statute which requires “ten years of active practice of law” to qualify.

Bysiewicz had originally stated that the issue of her eligibility was “a political question best decided by the voters,” and was not originally going to seek a court opinion, but she reversed her position on February 18 when she expressed a desire to “clear up the question for voters and delegates to the May convention.”

On March 31, 2010, Bysiewicz gave a deposition in which she admitted that she has never argued a court case and has “virtually no experience as a litigator” but nevertheless believes she is qualified to serve as the state’s attorney general.

According to a report from the New London Day, Bysiewicz admitted during her deposition that she has not been inside a courtroom since attending law school “25 years ago.”

In a twist which the Connecticut GOP attorney, Eliot Gersten, termed “bizarre,” Bysiewicz requested that she be allowed to use her own videographer to record the deposition proceedings.

Richard Blumenthal, the state’s attorney general, has opened an investigation to determine whether or not Bysiewicz broke any laws when she obtained a list of state Democrat donors through a Freedom of Information Act request of her own office.  Bysiewicz’s website for Secretary of the State lists as one of her accomplishments, “With the emergence of new technology, Secretary Bysiewicz has worked to ensure that confidential personal data within her agency is appropriately protected or altogether eliminated from the public domain” and “Throughout her career in public service, Secretary Bysiewicz has been a tireless advocate for open, ethical, and accountable government on all levels.”

Although Bysiewicz maintains that the Connecticut statute which imposes the ten-year “active practice of law” requirement is unconstitutional, she did not have the same concern when a Connecticut resident filed a lawsuit against her in November 2008 claiming that Barack Obama might not meet be violating the U.S. Constitution  by running for President.

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