Posted by 09 July 2018
Members of the Missouri General Assembly are subject to term limits. Now they want members of the U.S. Congress to face term limits, too.
As the legislative session was ending in Jefferson City, Missouri legislators passed a concurrent resolution calling on Congress to convene a convention of states to consider proposing a term limits amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Article V of the Constitution requires Congress to call such a convention if two-thirds of the states request it.
This resolution did not specify how many terms such an amendment would impose upon members of Congress. In Missouri, state senate members are limited to two four-year terms while state representatives are limited to four two-year terms.
In the early 1990s, some states had imposed term limits on members of Congress in addition to state legislators. The Supreme Court struck down these congressional term limits in 1995, saying that states cannot add qualifications for members of the federal House of Representatives or Senate that go beyond what the Constitution allows. The only way to impose such amendments would be to change the Constitution, which is what Missouri’s legislators are attempting to do.
Supporters of term limits say they are a way to end politicians who make a career out of public service. They contend that term limits are necessary to return to the days of citizen legislators. Term limits opponents counter that voters have a chance on Election Day to reject politicians who serve too long.
If enough states did succeed in their call for a constitutional convention, any amendment that resulted would still need to be approved by three-fourths of the states to become part of the Constitution.
Do you think that there should be a constitutional convention to propose a term limits constitutional amendment?