Reformers during the early s used the initiative and referendum to put congressional term limits on the ballot in 24 states. Voters in eight of these states approved the congressional term limits by an average electoral margin of two to one.
In May , the U. Supreme Court ruled 5—4 in U. Thornton , U. In the elections, part of the Republican platform included legislation for term limits in Congress. After winning the majority, a Republican congressman brought a constitutional amendment to the House floor that proposed limiting members of the Senate to two six-year terms and members of the House to six two-year terms.
Term Limits , the largest private organization pushing for congressional term limits. Defeated in Congress and overridden by the Supreme Court, the federal term limit uprising was brought to a halt. The term limits intended simultaneously to reform state legislatures as distinguished from the federal congressional delegations remain in force, however, in fifteen states.
In Larry J. Sabato revived the debate over term limits by arguing in A More Perfect Constitution that the success and popularity of term limits at the state level suggests that they should be adopted at the federal level as well. He specifically put forth the idea of congressional term limits and suggested a national constitutional convention be used to accomplish the amendment, since the Congress would be unlikely to propose and adopt any amendment that limits its own power.
Some state legislators have also expressed their opinions on term limits. It is confirmed that in the following five states—and there may be others—state lawmakers approved resolutions asking Congress to propose a federal constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms which members of Congress may serve:.
Legal scholars have discussed whether or not to impose term limits on the Supreme Court of the United States. Currently, Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life "during good behavior".
A sentiment has developed, among certain scholars, that the Supreme Court may not be accountable in a way that is most in line with the spirit of checks and balances.
Calebresi and James Lindgren, professors of law at Northwestern University, argued that, because vacancies in the court are occurring with less frequency and justices served on average, between and , for Many of the proposals center around a term limit for Justices that would be 18 years Larry Sabato, Professor of Political Science at University of Virginia, suggested between 15 and 18 years.
Calebresi, Lingren, and Carrington have also proposed that when justices have served out their proposed year term they should be able to sit on other Federal Courts until retirement, death, or removal. Some state lawmakers have officially expressed to Congress a desire for a federal constitutional amendment to limit terms of Supreme Court justices as well as of judges of federal courts below the Supreme Court level.
While there might be others, below are three known examples:. Term limits for state officials have existed since colonial times. The Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties of , and the colonial frame of government of the same year, both authored by William Penn , provided for triennial rotation of the provincial council —the upper house of the colonial legislature.
At present, 36 states have term limits of various types for their governors. To circumvent the term limit in Alabama incumbent governor George Wallace pushed through the nomination of his wife Lurleen , in the Democratic primary, which was, in those days, the real contest in Alabama.
It was generally understood that Mrs. Wallace would only be a titular governor while her husband continued to hold the real power. She won the election, but only served 16 months before dying in As indicated above, in fifteen state legislatures the members serve in rotation, i. In another six states, however, state legislatures have either overturned their own limits or state supreme courts have ruled such limits unconstitutional.
In the Idaho Legislature became the first legislature of its kind to repeal its own term limits, enacted by a public vote in , ostensibly because it applied to local officials along with the legislature. Governors of 36 states and four territories are subject to various term limits, while the governors of 14 states, Puerto Rico , and the Mayor of Washington, D.
Each state's gubernatorial term limits are prescribed by its state constitution , with the exception of Wyoming , whose limits are found in its statutes. Virgin Islands , and by statute in American Samoa. Unique in its restriction, Virginia prohibits its governors from succeeding themselves for a second term, although former governors are reeligible after four years out of office. The governors of the following states and territories are limited to two consecutive terms, but are reeligible after four years out of office: Conversely, the Governors of Montana  and Wyoming  are restricted to two terms, limited to serving 8 out of any 16 years.
Finally, the governors of the following states and territory are absolutely limited for life to two terms: The governors of New Hampshire and Vermont may serve unlimited two-year terms. The governors or equivalent in the following states, district, and territory may serve unlimited four-year terms: The Governor of Utah was previously limited to serving three terms, but all term limit laws have since been repealed by the legislature.
Some local governments have term limits. In Philadelphia , the mayor cannot be elected three consecutive times, but there is no limit on how long any individual can serve as mayor. Frank Rizzo was elected mayor in and ; he attempted to repeal the term limit, but failed and could not run in He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for mayor in but he lost to Wilson Goode.
In , he switched to the Republican Party, and ran as a Republican in the mayoral elections of and Limits vary from city to city even within the same state. For example, Houston , Texas , has a limit of 2 four-year terms prior to November 3, , 3 two-year terms dating back to , while San Antonio , Texas, has a limit of 4 two-year terms. Both Houston and San Antonio's term limits are absolute; elected officeholders are ineligible to run for the same position where seeking higher office is common.
On November 3, , however, when Michael Bloomberg was in his second term of mayor , the City Council approved the extension of the two-term limit to a three-term limit; one year later, he was elected to a third term. The two-term limit was reinstated after a referendum in In Los Angeles the mayor serves up to two four-year terms since , while the City Council serve up to three four-year terms. In Cincinnati , Ohio , the term limit for mayor is two successive four-year terms.
Council members are limited to two successive four-year terms. There is no limit to total terms that may be served, just a limit on successive terms. In New Orleans , City Council members are limited to two four-year terms. However, a council member representing one of the five council districts may run for one of the two at-large seats on the council once they reach the two-term limit, and vice versa.
There is no limit on the number of terms a council member may serve in a lifetime. Since , the mayor of New Orleans has been limited to two consecutive four-year elected terms, but he or she may be elected again after sitting out one four-year term.
When the new city plan of government was adopted, the mayor at the time, DeLesseps Story Morrison , was exempt from term limits due to a grandfather clause. After all, a newly elected member is not rewarded with a plum committee assignment by rocking the boat and trying to change the rules that benefit their newfound friends in the political class.
But this election cycle was different. Citizens from both parties are fed up with politics as usual. Draining the swamp has bipartisan support. So I say we get this done. For those who fear term limits might reduce the relevant expertise needed to get things done I would respectfully submit that if years is not enough time for a member to master the legislative process, then the member has no business serving in Congress in the first place.
Others object to term limits on the grounds that the founders already built term limits into the Constitution: But if this is true why, as my Democratic colleague Rep. The American people feel Congress as an institution is broken and failing to do its fundamental job, yet the structural advantages of incumbency are so great that few people ever get fired from this job.
But I do believe they are an important step. The more divided we are along party lines, the better for them. And there needs to be a petition for term limits for the supreme court as well. Those appointments can be you scratch my back I'll scratch yours just like the Congress!
Nothing should be for life in Washington! Rip Post 6 Term limits would be one of the greatest turning points of this country. We do not need these strongly biased individuals making our very important decisions for a life time. If not then we should limit only persons to be of age 65 and over after passing an IQ test and medical tests regarding mental illness related to age, to qualify for appointment. They should be of sound physical health.
This would limit them to a more reasonable term. Life is getting short after I know from experience. It would stop special interest groups from helping to get things like Cap and Tax and this so called health reform bill through. What would be the pros and cons? Term Limits has just launched an on-line petition for Congressional term limits.
The goal is to compile a list of Americans who support this reform that is so enormous it cannot be ignored. One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!
View slideshow of images above. Watch the Did-You-Know slideshow. Jan Maxwell Revised By: Lucy Oppenheimer Images By: This Day in History. The Star Spangled Banner poem was written. Initial Terms All U. Debating the Issue The idea of term limits, in Congress and in politics generally, is one that has been debated in most countries for centuries.
Court Rulings In May of , the U. Looking Forward Whether there will ever be term limits in Congress is largely a matter for the public to decide.
You might also Like. What Are the Duties of Congress? What is a Majority Whip? What is a Standing Committee? What is Involved in Making Public Policy? Discuss this Article anon Post 24 Why not start a petition? Congress doesn't work for the American people. In February , the US Senate voted on an amendment. Congressional term limits would almost if not eliminate unhealthy politics.
There's no sense in complaining about term limits because there's not one lousy thing you can do about it! As a "baby-boomer", when I was in school we were taught there were term limits on congressmen! Do you really think your so called "vote" makes a difference?
As they pertain to Congress, these laws are no longer enforceable, however, as in , the U.S. Supreme Court overturned congressional term limits in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, ruling that state governments cannot limit the terms of .
There have traditionally not been any term limits in the United States Congress, though the issue is one that has been debated for decades. Congressional term limits are usually understood to be legal restrictions on the duration or total length of time a person can serve as an elected representative or senator.
U.S. Term Limits main mission is to coordinate grassroots supporters to demand an Article V term limits convention application from their state legislators. We exist to impose term limits at all levels of government but mostly on the U.S. Congress. Others object to term limits on the grounds that the founders already built term limits into the Constitution: every two years for a member of the House and every six years in the Senate via elections.
Sep 04, · What is the term of office and term limits for Georgia state Senators? At the state level, Georgia has 56 senators as of September The terms last for two years, but there is no limit on how manyterms a senator can serve. Oct 18, · Watch video · Term limits for Congress are (probably) never, ever going to happen. amendment that would impose term limits on members of Congress. (The Washington Post) term limits on Congress isn't a.