Term Limits Essay

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Term Limits There is a movement sweeping the United States that state legislatures, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment, have the constitutional power to establish a new qualification for federal office, specifically, a restriction on the number of terms their congressional delegations may serve in Washington. The legal battleground covers two sections of the Constitution. Proponents of term limits will highlight Article I, Section 4, which they say gives each state the authority to prescribe the "time, place and manner" of congressional elections, therefore delegating to the local level the rules of who gets to run. Opponents will counter that such an interpretation of the Constitution is much too broad. They will also point out that…show more content…
The Constitution requires a specified period of citizenship, residency in the state represented, and attainment of a certain age. The Convention also established the length of terms for all elective offices, but voted against any limits on re-eligibility or the number of consecutive terms that would be allowed. The absence of term limits in the Constitution was not an oversight, Proposals to limit elected officers to a specified number of terms were introduced at least three times during the 1787 Convention but were rejected, not because anyone deemed term limits to be a state prerogative, but because terms limitation would be redundant, For the most part, short terms would encourage more accountability than limited terms. In his notes on the Convention, James Madison records: "Frequent elections are necessary to preserve the good behavior of rulers. They also tend to give permanency to the Government, by preserving that good behavior, because it ensures their re-election." Two-year terms for the House and other constitutional restraints limited the amount of mischief federal officers might be inclined to indulge in. Federal powers, being few and defined, were well understood, and elected officials who exceeded their mandate, or who abused those

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