How the Term Limits Convention Will Work

capitol at night

by Nick Tomboulides

With the announcement that U.S. Term Limits has launched a new campaign to term limit Congress through an Article V Convention, many supporters have written us to learn more about this process.

I’m hopeful that we can answer some of those questions here. First, the Term Limits Convention is not a “constitutional convention” that covers a broad array of subjects. It is a single-issue, laser-focused effort that is only empowered to amend the Constitution for congressional term limits. Other issues are outside the scope of the Convention and thus not permitted.

Amazingly, the convention option exists in the Constitution today because America’s founders knew citizens would need to correct abuses in Washington. They had first given Congress the sole ability to propose amendments, but realized that left citizens no way to bypass Congress and move to limit its power. And so the convention path was born.

Here’s how the Term Limits Convention will work:

1. Two-thirds of state legislatures (34) pass bills applying for the Term Limits Convention.
2. Congress is mandated to call the Convention.
3. The Convention, which features delegates chosen by the states, proposes one or more term limits amendments.
4. Three-quarters of states (38) must ratify the amendment, either by legislature or state convention.

While the high number of states may seem daunting, it’s actually a strength for term limits. No other issue garners majority support from as many diverse segments of the population. There are no party, age, race, gender or geographic divisions here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the Article V process and the Term Limits Convention. If you have further questions or feedback, you can send it directly to us by using the contact form here.

Nick Tomboulides is Executive Director of U.S. Term Limits.

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