Today, as a long floor session was winding down, the House took up SB 1159, a bill relating to admission to the Virginia Bar. Among those granting an exception, along with out of state lawyers, were to be law professors. Up rose Delegate Dave Albo (R-42, Fairfax), chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee, to speak to the bill:
I know no one cares about this bill. ... (But) if law professors are so smart, they can take the Bar exam and do what every other lawyer has to do to practice law in Virginia!
He received cynical cheers of encouragement from, presumably, the non-lawyers in the chamber. But up rose Delegate Jennifer McClellen (D-71, Richmond) to inform him that part of the bill had been struck. Speaker Bill Howell spoke for Albo with a Never mind! But it didn't end there.
Delegate Bobby Orrock (R-54, Caroline) then rose to ask what was left in the bill and why was it necessary if there was no new legislative language remaining. That prompted Delegate Sal Iaquinto (R-84, Virginia Beach) to pop up to point out the bulk of the bill was much more than the part that was struck, prompting another never mind moment from Delegate Orrock. But it didn't end there.
More delegates arose, including Lionell Spruill (D-77, Chesapeake) and Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst) to ask questions and attempt to explain, leaving Delegate Iaquinto slightly exasperated, even bandying about some Latin (pro hoc vice) to the mock cheers of admiration. Still, after several minutes, with no one sure what was in the bill, what it would do or if it was necessary, there were more questions. There was discussion of sending it back to the Courts of Justice Committee, which would kill it.
But it didn't end there . . . because Delegate Albo, who started it all off, agreed to have it passed by for the day so all could have the evening to see if there was any there, there. So it goes. Only in Virginia. Perhaps, as Shakespeare wrote, the only thing that needs killing is the lawyers.