|Quick Links: FAQÂ Â TopicsÂ Â ForumsÂ Â DocumentsÂ Â TimelineÂ Â KidsÂ Â Vermont ConstitutionÂ Â MapÂ Â CitationÂ Â|
Q158. "If an attorney is an officer of the court â€” is it legal for attorneys to be members of Congress â€” since they would then be serving in both the judicial and legislative branches of government â€” or is it permissible to serve in two separate branches concurrently?"
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 ) â€” 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.