RICHMOND, Va. — For 10 years, Joe Morrissey has struggled to transform his brawling-lawyer image into that of an in-your-face but nonviolent legislator.

The two-term delegate from Henrico chose last week not to challenge fellow Democrat Henry Marsh, a veteran of Virginia's civil right struggle, in a primary for his Senate seat. The old Morrissey, he said, would have come out "guns blazing."

Now, it's Morrissey's rhetoric alone that packs a punch. The House's most outspoken and argumentative Democrat, he seeking re-election to his suburban Richmond seat this year.

But the Virginia Bar hasn't forgotten his rough and rowdy past. The disbarred ex-prosecutor's bid to regain his law license has been rejected. Now he's asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider.