Court: Sen. Graham cannot serve as judge

Sept. 21, 2006 at 12:29 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington has ruled that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham cannot concurrently serve as a senator and a military judge.

The court said Wednesday the South Carolina Republican's position in Congress excluded him from serving in a judiciary capacity on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals due to the Constitution's Incompatibility Clause, USA Today reported Thursday.

The court said in its ruling that a member of Congress "performing independent judicial functions runs afoul of the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of powers."

Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, said the ruling prohibits members of Congress from serving on the judicial bench but does not affect elected representatives serving other roles in the military, USA Today said.

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