Twenty-Eighth Amendment: Congressional Term Limits

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Twenty-Eighth Amendment: Congressional Term Limits

Emily Pears
PLAP 1010
April 29, 2012
Fernando Mercado

Democracy is deified as a government ruled by its people, a society represented by its own members forming a self deciding and self governed community. This very essential ideal established the founders of the United States has become harder to uphold, and there are restraints that do not allow for true democracy to be fully expressed. Extra-governmental actions by special interests and the intricate costs of campaigns has married the economic and political arenas and it has resulted the creation of heavily influenced representatives that no longer serve their original function- to represent the interest of their constituents. The functionality of today’s political system would be unrecognizable to that of the original Constitution and that of the founders. The absence of term limits of House and Senate representatives have causes two elements that infringes on the democratic value of the government of the United States; now members of the congress and senate are career politicians and hold office for many ulterior reasons other than the honor of public service, and secondly this notion has now created a political class an exclusive society that dictates the legislative process. An Amendment to the Constitution is necessary to overturn the previous institutional establishment of limitless terms for senators and house representatives, because amendments are the only way to modify the articles of the constitution. [1] The Proposed Amendment would be as followed:

SECTION 1. No person who has served three terms as a Representative shall be eligible for election to the House of Representatives. For purposes of this section, the election of a person to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives shall be included as one term in determining the number of terms that such person has served as a Representative if the person fills the vacancy for more than one year. (DeMint 2011) SECTION 2. No person who has served two terms as a Senator shall be eligible for election or appointment to the Senate. For purposes of this section, the election or appointment of a person to fill a vacancy in the Senate shall be included as one term in determining the number of terms that such person has served as a Senator if the person fills the vacancy for more than three years. (DeMint 2011) This turn in political culture has inspired the creation of the Twenty-eight Amendment to the Constitution, which is necessary to reinstitute traditional and effective democracy that is the principle foundation of this nation. Further, we will discuss the proposed amendment’s ratification process, the necessity of a term limit amendment rather than simple campaign finance reform, and finally the aggregate of political benefits that the American people would receive if this proposed amendment is successful. Due to the fact that this proposal deals with changing how the government functions it must be dealt with a constitutional amendment and not just a bill, this proposal would shift the way government operates for the benefit of democracy and the American people. For an amendment to be ratified it must pass through a rigorous proposition process. The first process entails, a two-thirds approval vote from both the House or the senate and the ratification of the proposal requires a three-fourths vote. The second is based on the two-thirds approval of the state legislators that lead to a congressional convention. The former procedure is how 26 of 27 amendments in the constitution have been ratified barring the 21st amendment that ended prohibition and this is the more likely of the two. The idea for term limits has been on the floor of the house and senate twice in the last two decades arising from similar situations. Both of these movements arose after a crucial and majority democrat to republican shift in congress during mid-term elections. The...
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