Term limits set a legal restriction on the length of time an elected official may hold office. Term Limits laws affect how many terms and how many years an individual may hold a specific office. Term limits laws may bar a termed out official from holding office for life or may set a time frame for which someone may sit out before running for the same office again.
Do members of the U.S. Congress have term limits?
No, members of Congress do not have term limits.
Does the President of the United States have term limits
Yes, the President of the United States is limited to two (2) four year terms as defined in the twenty-second amendment to the U.S. Constitution proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in 1951. However, one may serve up to an additional two years (ten years total) or as few as six years if he/she assumes the remaining terms of office of a predecessor through succession.
Can States Impose Term Limits on the U.S. Congress?
Yes. The states can impose term limits on Congress through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Once 34 states pass an Article V Convention application through their state legislatures, an amendment proposal convention must be called. At the convention, which may be limited in scope, the terms of the amendment are proposed. They are then sent to the state legislatures or state conventions to be ratified by 38 states in order to become part of the Constitution.
What is Article V of the U.S. Constitution?
Article V allows the Constitution to be amended. This may be accomplished by proposals through either the Congress or the states (34 states at a convention). Regardless of the proposing body, 3/4 of the states (38) must ratify the proposed amendment. The Founding Fathers provided the states with power to amend the U.S. Constitution as a balance to federal power.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
Did the Supreme Court decide the states couldn’t limit the terms of their own congressional delegation?
In May 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995), that individual states could not limit the terms of their own federal legislators through state statute. However, the states may impose term limits on Congress through an amendment to the Constitution (just as the 22nd Amendment imposes term limits on the President). The qualifications for congressional office are explicitly stated in the qualifications clause of the Constitution which must be amended in order for term limits on Congress to be constitutional.
What section of the Constitution would have to be amended in order to term limit the House of Representative Members in Congress?
Article 1, section 2.2 Qualifications of U.S. House Members would need to be amended to limit terms based on years of service. It currently defines three qualifications for house representatives:
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
What section of the Constitution would have to be amended in order to term limit the Senators in Congress?
Article 1, section 3.3 Qualifications of U.S. Senators would need to be amended to limit terms based on years of service. It currently states three qualifications for senate members:
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.