Allowing Term Limits Without Limiting Terms
This University of Missouri at Kansas City page reviews term limits efforts, Supreme Court decisions and the Constitution on federal election law.
Term limits may well be a good idea for returning to a citizen Congress, but state legislation limiting federal Congressional terms was ruled out by the Supreme Court (in decisions discussed on this UMKC page).
A challenge for term-limit supporters follows from the reality that voters can limit or end a Congressional term at each election. If those too long in Congress are drunk with power or addled by endless perks and favors from lobbyists, then freedom of the press and speech, and election campaigns should enable voters to discover the problems and turn out abusers at the voting booth.
Freshmen Congressmen Bridenstine and O’Roarke have introduced their “Bi-Partisan Solution on Term Limits,” a proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow Congress in the future to set term limits.
Our proposal is a simple constitutional amendment. It does not prescribe the number of terms a member can serve; rather, it gives Congress the constitutional authority to pass and implement term limits. The reason for this structure is that by taking away the details from the amendment process, the likelihood of passage increases. We believe that even members who are philosophically opposed to term limits would support a constitutional amendment providing the legislative branch with the ability to debate and vote on the issue.
Whether term limits for federal elections are a good idea or not would be for future Congresses and future citizens to discuss and debate.
Those opposed to term limits argue Congressmen today need more experience because the federal government is much larger, more complex, and wields far more powers than was contemplated by America’s Founders. Exactly.