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Should the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution be repealed?

Updated on February 13, 2013

The 22nd amendment to the Constitution is one which many may not be familiar but the concept of this amendment is well known and is evident in the process of electing the President.

The basic premise of this amendment is term limits for the President of the United States. Under the amendment a President can only serve two terms and the question is whether the limitation be changed or eliminated. Getting rid of an amendment to the Constitution is no small task. The first big task is getting both houses of Congress to agree on the language to revoke this amendment.

The subject of revoking this amendment and its requirements are an integral part of our Constitution. Actions to do just that have been proposed for the last several years. This type of activity has not been limited to one political party from reports in the news as both parties have initiated efforts to eliminate or revoke this amendment. Actions of this nature coming from Congress leads us to ask questions as to why our elected officials feel this is a good idea. Removing term limits for President if it were to be revoked would drastically change politics.

The concept of eliminating this amendment is I believe a hard sell not only to both houses of Congress I believe it to be a hard sell to state legislatures. There are going to be those who support this change while there will be others who drastically oppose the change. One of the purposes for the previous statement involves the fact that there have been some moves to establish term limitations for Congress. There are several instances where individuals have made serving in Congress a lifetime job as they constantly get re-elected by the voters of their district. While there may be some positive aspects of this activity there can be negative ones.

I am not against individuals being re-elected for what seems a lifetime as there are many fine individuals now serving in Congress that brings an avenue of change when critical issues must be addressed. There is a need for some consistency and in some cases expertise in how to get things done but it must be the right way. Over the years there have been changes in how Congress works along with cultural changes. Limits to some extent exist in Congress as every two years members of the House of Representatives must face re-election and every two years 1/3 of the Senate must face re-election.

Eliminating the need for term limits by revoking the 22nd amendment to the Constitution may be a good idea in some cases but the fact remains we have had some great Presidents who were elected more than once. Other times Presidents have only served one term. The intent of the 22nd amendment and the reality of it involves changing leadership presents new ideas by new individuals on current issues facing our country at election time. Granted the President presents the agenda through the state of the union address each year but it is Congress who creates the language in legislation to accomplish it. The key point in this picture is both Houses of Congress must agree in principle on the content of the agenda presented.

While there are actions to revoke the 22nd amendment seems to be a constant activity it has not seen much traction. The process of changing the Constitution was meant to be a long one as stipulated in the Constitution. There must be wide support for revoking a constitutional amendment or adding one as we have seen in the ones that have been added since the Constitution was first written. Limitations placed on elected officials at the federal level and the state level makes sense. Governors have term limits and the President should be no different. One distinction about term limits lies in the fact that the country sometimes wants a change and they therefore elect individuals to replace those holding office. The President is no different. When a President has served two terms it allows new individuals to enter the race for President. It is difficult if not impossible to replace an incumbent President and keeping this amendment in place makes sense in relation to the opportunities it provides when a President can no longer run for office.


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