The State Supreme Court has suspended Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s law license.
The suspension is temporary but it does raise questions about whether it makes Kane ineligible for her office.
Article IV, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states that: “No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General except a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”
Nevertheless the Court made sure to note in its short opinion that it was not removing Kane from office.
The full order is presented below:
AND NOW, this 21st day of September, 2015, upon consideration of the responses to a Rule to Show Cause why Kathleen Granahan Kane should not be placed on temporary suspension, the Rule is made absolute; Respondent Kathleen Granahan Kane is placed on temporary suspension; and, to the extent applicable, she shall comply with all the provisions of Pa.R.D.E. 217.
Respondent’s rights to petition for dissolution or amendment of this order pursuant to Pa.R.D.E. 208(f)(4), and to request accelerated disposition of charges underlying this order pursuant to Pa.R.D.E. 208(f)(6), are specifically preserved.
This order should not be construed as removing Respondent from elected office and is limited to the temporary suspension of her license to practice law.
UPDATE: The Attorney General’s office released the following statement:
While I am disappointed in the court’s action I am grateful that the court recognized my constitutional rights both as a democratically elected official and as a citizen of the Commonwealth. The court, in specifically recognizing my continuing authority as Attorney General of the Commonwealth, today allows me to continue the good works of this office: work which has transformed our war on sex crimes and fraud; work which will also root out the culture of misogyny and racially/religiously offensive behavior that has permeated law enforcement and members of the judiciary in this Commonwealth for years.