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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Friday, January 08, 2010

Term Limits for Congress

Walter Ellington of Clinton had a letter in the January 6 Clarion-Ledger advocating term limits for Congress. He is correct that this would require an amendment to the U. S. Constitution. A 5-4 ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1995 said that an individual state cannot term limit its congressional delegation.

"Obviously, members of Congress would never vote such a restriction on themselves, but, through the referendum process, the voters can bypass Congress and pass such an amendment."

Article V of the Constitution says, "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid... when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress..."

Thus far, all amendments have been proposed by the Congress and ratified by the state legislatures.

The Founding Fathers would have been horrified at the notion of amending the Constitution by means of a popular vote. They provided that the president and senators be indirectly elected; to this day, the president is not directly elected.

A proposed term limits initiative for state and local officials has been filed with the Mississippi secretary of state.


Blogger Bill Walker said...

For the information of the author. The states have already applied for a term limits amendment to be proposed at an Article V Convention, 32 in all according to public record.

In fact, all 50 states have submitted 750 applications for an Article V Convention 20 times the number required. The texts of the applications can be read at www.foavc.org. Congress has refused to obey the Constitution and call a convention as the Constitution mandates it do.

Fri Jan 08, 01:31:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Timothy Birdnow said...

There are people calling for a recall mechanism for Congress and the Presidency, too, Steve! That is an horrendous idea in so many ways. We are treated to chronic campaigning now, what would happen when any group can get a recall at any time? Government will cease to function at all, with the courts ultimately acting as final arbiters of the other branches.

Mon Jan 11, 09:36:00 AM CST  
Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Has Timothy turned into a communist?!?!
Government's ceasing to function would be a GODSEND!
Making those filthy bleep politicians campaign all the time could keep the filthy bleeps from passing more collectivist laws.
Steve, it seems time to block Timothy's comments. Apparently the frozen "global warming" has affected his senses.
Recall is good; government is bad.
One more note: The U.S. Constitution says the states will make the election rules, so by definition the states CAN pass term limits, even on federal offices.

Tue Jan 12, 03:33:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Timothy Birdnow said...

Boy; one out of line comment and I'm consigned to Marxism!

My point, Michael, is that Congress will become an endless campaign, strengthening the courts and beaurocracy. It's bad, because we will end up with MORE government in the end. History shows that political chaos leads to a stronger, more invasive government. And the left will be the ones to challenge our guys, not the other way around, as recent history has also shown. How do we REMOVE bad laws if we cannot elect representatives to vote against them? I wouldn't mind Congress being moribund if government itself would just remain still.

But perhaps global warming has overheated my noggin after all...

Wed Jan 13, 07:20:00 AM CST  
Blogger Michael Morrison said...

His latest comment PROVES Timothy is Marxist ... or Goreist, which is the same but sillier (and maybe more capitalistic).
Since many of the United States look like suburbs of Antarctica, obviously there IS NO GLOBAL WARMING, certainly not around here.
So anyone who tries to blame his sudden yearning for more and bigger and, by definition, worse government on "overheated" noggin is, by definition, something to be swept out with yesterday's Courier.
Come on, Timothy. The people just elected "representatives" who had promised "hope" and "change," but all we got and will get is more of the same ol' crap, more government, more taxes, more war, and even more earthquakes.
Keep those filthy bleep politicians and bureaucrats out campaigning, and running against recall campaigns, and all the other stuff they prefer to, say, reading the Constitution, and keep the government "moribund" (gosh, you educated people sure do know some neat words!).
Moribund is good; active is bad.
Commenters are good; congressmen are bad.
Birdnow is good; Stabenow is bad.
(And does everyone realize that in reality I am a HUGE fan of Tim?)

Wed Jan 13, 12:32:00 PM CST  

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