Constitutional FAQ Answer #158 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #158

<<Previous Question |
Question Index |
Subject Index |
Constitutional Index |
Next Question>>

Q158. “If an attorney is an officer of the court
— is it legal for attorneys to be members of Congress — since they
would then be serving in both the judicial and legislative branches of
government — or is it permissible to serve in two separate branches

A. It is unconstitutional for a person to serve in two branches of the
government at once. However, a lawyer, being an “officer of the court”, is not
a member of the judicial branch in that sense, so a lawyer is not then barred
from being a member of the legislative branch solely because of that
profession. The Supreme Court ruled on a case like this in Cammer v U.S.
(350 US 399 [1956]) — if a lawyer is not an officer of court that can be
summarily tried for misconduct, it follows that a lawyer is not an member of
judicial branch, barred from serving in the legislative branch.

Last Modified: 16 Aug 2010

Valid HTML 4.0