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Connecticut SOS wins qualification lawsuit

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May 6, 2010

HARTFORD, Connecticut: With just three weeks left until state Democrats meet to endorse party candidates for the 2010 election cycle, Superior Court Judge Michael Sheldon "has ruled that Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz meets the qualifications to hold the office of attorney general."[1]

Ever since announcing her candidacy in the race to be the next State Attorney General in January 2010, critics on both sides of the political aisle have argued she lacks the qualifications required for the statewide office.[2] Specifically, they have cited Title III, Chapter 35, Section 3-124 of the General Statutes of Connecticut, which states, "The Attorney General shall be an attorney of law of at least ten years’ active practice at the bar of this state," as proof to substantiate their claims.[3] At the same time, however, others have argued that the state constitution, which takes precedence over the general statutes, cites the minimum age of eighteen as the only requirement in order to be considered for any state governmental position.[4] The suit had been brought before the Hartford Superior Court after the current State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is leaving office to seek the United States Senate being vacated by retiring Democrat Chris Dodd, refused to issue a legal opinion on the matter.[5][6]

While the ruling has certainly dealt a significant blow to her political opponents, both Democratic and Republican, Bysiewicz still faces significant criticism over her use of "a database of citizens' names to send out unsoliticed emails seeking campaign contributions."[7]

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