From the May 2001 Idaho Observer:
Is it really illegal for lawyers to hold certain public offices?
A lawyer will tell you, no. However, according to the Constitutional Guardians, they have yet to find a lawyer who is able to support their position in law. Their typical attitude is that it is legal for lawyers to hold non-judicial public office since there are so many of them occupying offices in both the executive and legislative branches. In applied logic, such an argument is one of the 17 known fallacies called begging the question: Something is because it is.
More correctly framed, the question would be: Is it constitutional for lawyers to hold non-judicial public office?
To James Madison and the other astute men who participated in the creation of the U.S. Constitution, the answer would be, yes.
Thomas Jefferson, in a June 12, 1823 letter to Justice William Johnson, gave us the guiding principle upon which we should base our investigations with regard to determining whether or not something is or is not constitutional: On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
The fact that the original 13th Amendment banning lawyers from public office was removed is our first clue that subversion was necessary to enable lawyers to hold public office.
Additional clues are found in the constitutions of the several states -- all of which were modeled after the federal U.S. Constitution. Robert Bertrand of Constitutional Guardians found that the Florida State Supreme Court integrated the Florida Bar in 1949. Prior to 1949, the legislature had been responsible for overseeing the licensing, regulating and disciplining of lawyers. The Court stole power from the legislature by ruling that it will extend its mandate under Article V of the Florida Constitution to henceforth be responsible for admitting and disciplining lawyers. The Court held that the practice of law was the exclusive domain of lawyers. From that unconstitutional seizure of power from the legislature....however well intentioned, all other problems stem, stated Bertrand in an oral argument presented to the Florida State Supreme Court in 1994.
The power to regulate lawyers was wrested from the Idaho legislature in a similar manner in 1925. Called the fully integrated Bar, the Idaho State Supreme Court regulates lawyers. The real effect of such an arrangement is a legal monopoly as all judges and lawyers must be members of the Idaho State Bar if they are to be allowed to practice in Idaho courts.
It appears that similar scenarios have played themselves out in every state of the Union.
Additionally, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to punish errant judges; errant lawyers are to be punished by the state bar. Though the disciplinary entities commissioned under the Supreme Courts of the several states receive in excess of 100,000 complaints regarding the behavior of judges and lawyers annually, most complaints are rejected, few are investigated and an average three percent result in any disciplinary action.
Fully integrated bars are, without question instrumentalities of the judiciary. By extension, members of such bars are also instrumentalities of the judiciary. For members of the judiciary to occupy offices in the other branches of government is an obvious violation of the separation of powers doctrine upon which our form of government was designed.
Perhaps the most obvious example we have seen to date which proves that lawyers have infiltrated government by deliberate means with full knowledge of their subversion is found in the Revised Code for the State of Washington.
RCW 2.48.010, passed by the legislature in 1933, created....an association to be known as the Washington State Bar...
Called the State Bar Act, the law assigns to the association a common seal and generally outlines the rights and responsibilities of the association to sue and be sued, enter into contracts and dispose of real and personal property.
Under a severability clause, the law states that if any part of the act were to be ruled unconstitutional, it shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this act...
All that appears as normal legislative jargon until it states, The legislature hereby declares that it would have passed this act, and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, and phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more of the sections, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared unconstitutional. (emphasis added)
It is unconstitutional for lawyers to hold public office? Based upon a preponderance of evidence, one must conclude that, not only is it unconstitutional, lawyers have know it was unconstitutional all along and have expended tremendous energy to hide this fact from the public.
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