Recently, some Americans have been talking up a storm about having term limits imposed for all members of Congress. They contend that some of these members have been re-elected for so many terms that newcomers are never given the chance to be elected. Term limits would solve the problems.
Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution clearly spells that only the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate can determine the legal qualifications for these public offices. Each house may consider the age, citizenship and residence of its members. Most of these lawmakers are not going to change this provision to support term limits.
During 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court in an 8-1 decision ruled that Framers of the Constitution intended that the qualifications for its members of Congress were those stated in Section 5. In this case, the Court did not allow other qualifications for these offices but only those mentioned in this provision.
This type of situation happened with then President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times to the Office of the Presidency during the 1930s and 1940s. At that time, many Americans believe that there should have been term limits for this office.
During 1947, the 22nd Amendment was proposed by 2.3 of both houses in congress ad approved in 1951 by 3.4 of the state legislatures, limiting future presidents only to two terms in office.
As was done with the presidency, Americans who want term limits for all members of Congress should comply with Article Vs legal requirement dealing with amending the Constitution to pass this term limits provision.
Silvestre Moreno Jr., Mercedes