HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut's secretary of state ended her bid for attorney general Tuesday, hours after losing a lawsuit she filed against her own office in an effort to prove that she is qualified to be the state's top prosecutor.
Democrat Susan Bysiewicz said in a statement she is tremendously disappointed with the state Supreme Court's unanimous decision that she is not legally qualified to hold the job now occupied by Richard Blumenthal. She said she strongly disagrees with the decision but that she respects the rule of law.
Connecticut law requires the attorney general to have worked 10 years as a lawyer. Bysiewicz had argued that her 11 years as secretary of the state and six years as a corporate lawyer in Connecticut should count.
Republicans maintain that Bysiewicz's tenure as secretary of the state should not count. A lower court had ruled that Bysiewicz had met the requirement. The state GOP then appealed to the state's highest court.
"The court system worked the way it's supposed to work," said Eliot B. Gersten, a lawyer for the Republicans who argued the case in Superior Court and the Supreme Court. "She brought this. This is what she wanted the courts to do."
A Democratic blogger first suggested she did not have the required 10 years of active legal experience, prompting Bysiewicz to sue her own office and the state Democrats in hopes of a ruling to clear up the question.
Connecticut is among 43 states in which the attorney general is elected. In most, a certain threshold of legal knowledge and experience is required by state law or constitution.