Constitutional Officer Law and Legal Definition

Constitutional officer is a government official whose office is created by a constitution, rather than by a statute. The term of office of such officers are fixed and defined by the constitution.

The following is an example of a State Statute (Virginia) defining Constitutional Officer:

In Virginia, clerk of the circuit court, attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue, and treasurer are all constitutional officers. These offices are created pursuant to Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia. [Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-101]

Va. Const. Art. VII, § 4 reads as follows:

There shall be elected by the qualified voters of each county and city a treasurer, a sheriff, an attorney for the Commonwealth, a clerk, who shall be clerk of the court in the office of which deeds are recorded, and a commissioner of revenue. The duties and compensation of such officers shall be prescribed by general law or special act.

Regular elections for such officers shall be held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Such officers shall take office on the first day of the following January unless otherwise provided by law and shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years, except that the clerk shall hold office for eight years.

The General Assembly may provide for county or city officers or methods of their selection, including permission for two or more units of government to share the officers required by this section, without regard to the provisions of this section, either (1) by general law to become effective in any county or city when submitted to the qualified voters thereof in an election held for such purpose and approved by a majority of those voting thereon in each such county or city, or (2) by special act upon the request, made after such an election, of each county or city affected. No such law shall reduce the term of any person holding an office at the time the election is held. A county or city not required to have or to elect such officers prior to the effective date of this Constitution shall not be so required by this section.

The General Assembly may provide by general law or special act for additional officers and for the terms of their office.