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New Rule: Only Lawyers Can Argue Before Supreme Court

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WASHINGTON (AP) — You must be a lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court.

Thought that already was the case? It wasn’t until Monday, when the Supreme Court revised its 80-page rule book for the first time since 2010.

The update covers items such as filing deadlines, but also adds Rule 28.8, which requires anyone arguing before the court to be a lawyer. The high court says the new rule simply codifies a “long-standing practice of the court.”

A nonlawyer hasn’t argued before the justices in more than three decades, though not for a lack of trying.

A magazine publisher, entrepreneur and paralegal-in-training asked but were turned down, the latest in the past year.

Now, if anyone asks, the court will be able to point to the new rule.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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