Bill: Missouri Lawmakers Automatically Become Lawyers After 2 Years In Office

AP

Not enough lawyers in the legislature?

This will fix that!

A Missouri state representative has introduced a bill would automatically make members of the general assembly lawyers — without law school, bar exams or any of the other training and credentialing that is usually required of attorneys — after they have been in office for two years. The bill would also make those members eligible to serve as Missouri associate or circuit court judges.

The Missouri Constitution currently requires that circuit judges be lawyers licensed to practice in the state.

The legislation was introduced Wednesday by Republican state Rep. Robert Ross, who serves on the committee of professional registration and licensing.
According to Kansas City Star columnist Barbara Shelly, Ross is a self-employed land surveyor and owner of a shooting range.

Shelly also noted the a the bill prompted a flurry of mockery on Twitter, under the hashtag #MoLegDegrees.

Update 2/26/2016: Ross withdrew the bill Friday in a statement that defended the legislation as something “to highlight an issue and subsequently prompt a conversation relative to the importance of education and experience necessary to operate as a professional.”

Read the legislation below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.
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