The Law: Military Congressmen

No person holding any office under the United States shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

—U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 6)

The framers intended that provision to enforce "separation of powers"—the principle that all three branches of Government must be independent and thus able to check and balance one another. As one result, Cabinet members and all Government employees are forbidden to serve in Congress. But what about Congressmen who belong to the military reserves?

Last week that ticklish question was raised by a California-based group of military...

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