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Arguments for and against term limits

The arguments against term limits

❶With the kind of corruption we are seeing today in our government this would be wonderful.

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Smith' who decides to run for his state's legislature. It takes an enormous amount of time, energy, and money to get elected. Upon getting to the House, he realizes he wants to do more and help more people, and do it without the pressure of having to run again every two years. Once he gets there, he notes the new term limits and he knows that eight years will be here in no time and he immediately begins to focus on statewide office In order to have 'a name' through out the state and favors to bear, Mr.

Smith will send pork to the entire state from day one. As candidates feel forced to run for higher office, they will feel forced to share the wealth. The stock of those who represent us would crash, while the unelected bureaucrats would grow in influence.

Do term limits curb influence of special interests? They bring government closer to the people and improve citizen access to the process," according to Philip Blumel, president of U. Term Limits, the largest advocacy group in the field. Lobbyists fight term limits for a reason. The non-profit US Terms Limits notes on their website: When term-limits exist, lobbyists simply adjust to the quickened timetable of finite terms in office. They are skilled enough to ensure that they maintain their influence despite the shorter term-limit.

Interests groups are often demonized, but they are, as a matter of fact, simply the mouth piece of citizens, citizen-organizations, and businesses expressing their various interests to politicians. Career politicians have a good sense of these many different interests, as they should. There is nothing wrong with this. It's a good thing. New politicians do not have the same grasp, and so are more likely to make decisions that do not consider all interests involved.

Do term limits help or hurt voter liberties? An incumbent who's done a fairly decent job usually has name recognition and a campaign fund that may scare off a political neophyte with great ideas and a passion to serve. And incumbents who've served multiple terms can become career politicians by virtue of the campaign funds they're able to build.

Are term limits supported by history? The council of in ancient Athens rotated its entire membership annually, as did the ephorate in ancient Sparta. The ancient Roman Republic featured a system of elected magistrates—tribunes of the plebs, aediles, quaestors, praetors, and consuls—who served a single term of one year, with reelection to the same magistracy forbidden for ten years.

See Cursus honorum Many of the founders of the United States were educated in the classics, and quite familiar with rotation in office during antiquity. Many founding fathers supported term limits Term limits worked at state level, can work at federal level.

In , Professor Larry J. Sabato argued 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. Hession, "Term limits - still a bad idea.

They anticipated that these elected officials would often hold office for more than one term. It is true that the Founding Fathers had other careers and jobs outsize of government.

But, this is hardly instructive. At that time, the government was just getting off of the ground, the country was in debt, and many politicians had careers spanning before the revolution when British government made having a career in politics impossible. Now, in a mature democracy, a developed country such as the United States requires robust government services, which require politicians that spend an entire career focusing on these issues.

Thank goodness that it is possible to be a career politician now. With all the issues we now face, the Founding Fathers would certainly approve of the level of focus and expertise career politicians are able to direct to national interests. Do term limits help ground politicians in reality? By remaining at the seat of government, they would acquire the habits of the place, which might differ from those of their constituents. That sector--and this is the crucial point--is primary: There is a great deal of demonization of multi-term career politicians coming from the advocates of term limits.

They believe that career politicans are disconnected from the reality of average citizens and of the businesses in the private sector. But, how could this be the case? If anything, career public servants spend their professional lives trying to speak with and understand the concerns of citizens, businesses, and organizations that they are charged with representing.

Perhaps more than any other career, public servants are centrally tasked with understanding the real world faced by citizens. It is wrong to argue, therefore, that they are cloistered away and disconnected from reality. Where does public opinion stand? This phenomenon may be due to the voter's native common sense.

This may be the most powerful argument in its favor. In other words, it appears that voters instinctively know that term limits is better for voters than unlimited terms. In the 23 states that have the Initiative Process where voters can petition to place issues on the ballot , 21 states have voted for and won statewide term limits. Whenever politicians have tried to end term limits, they have been resoundingly defeated. Term Limits Thomas E. More information about Term Limits Debate.

Public Affairs Event Format: Dec 01, Dec 04, 5: There was an error processing your purchase. MP3 audio - Standard Price: 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 [68] and Wyoming [69] 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.

Under the original Metropolitan Charter adopted in , the mayor of Nashville was limited to three consecutive four-year terms, which was subsequently reduced to two consecutive four-year terms in Councilors were likewise limited to two consecutive four-year terms, but subsequent court rulings have determined the offices of district councilor and at-large councilor to be separate offices even though all councilors serve together in one unicameral body, which has meant that at large councilors have continued in office as district members, and more frequently district councilors have been elected to subsequent terms as at large councilors.

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Should there be term limits for members of Congress and the Supreme Court?

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Here are some questions and answers about term limits and the ongoing debate surrounding the idea, as well as a look at the pros and cons of term limits for Congress.

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They plan to explore Congress in depth and find out if Term Limits are the answer. Furthermore, they plan to research the disconnect between 12% approval ratings and how Congressman still manage to be re-elected over 90% of the time.

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Term limits for Congress would be disastrous because they would concentrate even more power in the executive branch -- we need a stronger Congress within the frame of a much, much weaker federal government. Let's repeal . But are term limits for the legislative and judicial branches a good idea? There is certainly wide support for reform. In a Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans expressed support for congressional term limits, and in a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 66 percent of Americans expressed support for Supreme Court term limits.

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A majority of Americans support term limits in Congress. 78 percent of Americans support congressional term limits according to a September FoxNews Public Opinion Dynamics poll of registered voters. 74 percent of Democrats polled favored term limits with 84 percent of Republicans indicating support. Arguments for term limits With term limits in place, Congress will be more responsible toward their constituents because they will soon be constituents themselves. They will have to live under the laws they have created while in office.