Thursday, June 02, 2005

What about legislator/lawyers?

In this speech, AG candidate Steve Baril says his opponent Bob McDonnell should not be representing clients before state agencies while he is a member of the House of Delegates.

Of course, the General Assembly has various means of control not only over state agencies, but also state courts, and law enforcement officials at every level. If it is wrong for lawyer-legislators to appear before state agencies, how is it any better for them to appear in any of the state courts? Traditionally, that is what they have done - Joe Johnson represents this district in the House, and previously Judge Jones, Congressman Boucher, and former Bristol Commonwealth's attorney George Warren represented this area in the Senate. (The point being that they were and are all lawyers and gentlemen of high ethical standards, whose political careers flowed from their success as lawyers, rather than the other way 'round.)

What's unusual about this year's statewide candidates is that so many of them (e.g., Peterson, Connaughton, Baril, and Kilgore) are affiliated with national or international law firms - the kind that are among the usual suspects as players in the lobbying world, and not merely in Richmond.

No comments: