Blumenthal says the state law requiring that any attorney general have ten years in the active practice of law is constitutional.
But what does active practice mean?
Good question. And when it comes to whether Bysiewicz qualifies for a run for attorney general – that’s a question Blumenthal says will have to wait.
"I believe very strongly, very strongly that my office cannot appropriately answer the question of what is active practice for any candidate.There must ultimately be a court determination and this office will not have the last word. It must be from a court.”
Bysiewicz got into the race for attorney general after first considering a run for governor. But here’s the problem. Her critics say that although she’s an attorney, she hasn't practiced law for a total of ten years. She’s argued that her service as secretary of state should be counted toward her years of active law practice, and she asked Blumenthal for his take.
Chris Healy, the head of the state’s Republican party, says Blumenthal deliberately avoided answering the question, and that Bysiewicz should hire an attorney and ask a judge for an answer.
“Susan Bysiewicz has put herself in a pretzel. She’s not qualified to be attorney general, she’s not qualified to run for attorney general. Everybody but she seems to understand that, and yet she’s put the taxpayers through a lot of cost and wasted time for her own political ambition.”
Bysiewicz see it’s just the opposite.
“I’m every encouraged by the attorney general’s opinion because it validates what I have been saying all along that I am eligible to run for and serve as attorney general.”
Bysiewicz said she’s moving on and looking ahead to the campaign. She won’t ask a judge for a ruling. If her opponents want to challenge her in court, Bysiewicz says, then so be it.
For WNPR, I’m Jeff Cohen.