Constitution bars senator from serving as military judge, court rules

Constitution bars senator from serving as military judge, court rules

[JURIST] US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [official website] cannot serve concurrently as both a senator and a military judge because it violates the US Constitution's separation of powers requirement, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces [official website] has ruled [opinion, PDF]. The court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling [PDF text], and wrote that "one of the purposes served by the separation of powers is that a military accused will not be judged by a Member of Congress." The issue was raised in the trial of Airman 1st Class Charles M. Lane for wrongful use of cocaine. Lane's attorneys claimed Graham's position was a conflict of interest.

Graham, who previously served as a reserve judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals [official website], has been reassigned to a position in the Pentagon's Air Force Administrative Law Division. The Charleston Post Courier has local coverage.