Cabinet Law and Legal Definition

In the political context, a cabinet is a board make up of certain officers. The U.S. President's cabinet is made up of the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments-the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General. Under President George W. Bush, Cabinet-level rank also has been accorded to the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Director, National Drug Control Policy; and the U.S. Trade Representative.

One of the principal purposes of the Cabinet (drawn from Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution) is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of their respective offices. The Constitution states that the President "may require the opinion, in writing of the principle officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices." The Constitution does not say which or how many executive departments should be created.