Term Limits

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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 the exclusive qualifications for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are explicitly set forth in Article I, Sections 2 and 3 - members of Congress must be at least 25 years old and citizens of the U.S. for at least seven years; Senators must be at least 30 years old and citizens for at least nine years; both Senators and Representatives must be residents in the state. Plainly, they reiterate, there is no reference to term limits. Opponents of term limits argue that Americans have always had the power to turn incumbents out of office - by voting. It's not that simple, says Cleta Deatherage Mitchell, the general counsel for the Term Limits Legal "Incumbents have such enormous advantages that it makes the whole notion of competitive elections a mockery," she says. "It almost takes a national temper tantrum to dislodge incumbents". Meanwhile, Hill points to the existence of one federal-term limit - the two terms of the President. "The nation has survived, indeed flourished," she... ... middle of paper ... ...was connected must be relinquished at a determinate period, than when they were permitted to entertain a hope of obtaining, by meriting, a continuance of them. This position will not be disputed so long as it is admitted that the desire of reward is one of the strongest incentives of human conduct; or that the best security for the fidelity of mankind is to make their interest coincide with their duty". There is nothing new about the inherent dishonesty of man when armed with a little power. That is why there is a Constitution. It was designed to allow the leaders enough force to defend the people, but not enough to enslave them. When the constitutionally fixed force of government is exceeded, either by intent or neglect, the people suffer, Today we suffer a twofold tragedy: the intentional usurpation of governing power by a few, compounded by the neglect of many.

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