The U.S. Constitution gives states the power to bypass Congress, come together in a convention and propose a congressional term limits amendment. To make it happen, 34 state legislatures must pass applications for a congressional term limits convention OR for a convention that doesn’t rule out term limits.
Robert Natelson, law professor, author and renowned authority on the U.S. Constitution, has penned many groundbreaking studies on the original intent of the Constitution and its amendment process. His works have been referenced in several U.S. Supreme Court decisions. In his most recent white paper, Natelson concludes that single and multi-subject convention applications (which include the single subject) can be combined with inclusive (non-specific) applications. The result of combining all these applications would be a convention that may discuss only the single subject, which in our case is congressional term limits.
Natelson cites historic precedence for several conventions of states that have assembled where this process was followed. The above progress tally is based on Natelson’s latest research, “Federalism & Separation of Powers.”
So Where do We Stand Now?
Three states, Florida, Alabama, and Missouri have passed applications specific to the single topic of term limits. Nine more states (indicated as medium blue) have passed term limits specific language as part of a multi-subject initiative. And, thirteen have passed inclusive Article V applications, meaning they approved convention resolutions that could include term limits.
This brings the Term Limits Convention application count to twenty-five.