The twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution was proposed March 24, 1947 and adopted February 27, 1951:
[Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.]
In other words – a two-term term limit for the Presidency of the United States. Is that a good law? Is it time to consider its repeal? Well if you ask Representative Jose Serrano (D) who represents the state of New York’s 16th congressional district – yes, it is time.
Introduced to this, the 111th Congress on January 7, 2013; House Joint Resolution 17 is “Proposing an amendment to the constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty second article of amendment… …article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.”
Imagine the following scenario:
As a well-spoken, charismatic (albeit, inexperienced) politician I manage to get myself elected to the highest office in the land at the relatively young age of 47. I win re-election to a 2nd term. At the time of my 2nd swearing in I’m 51 years of age. By the end of my 2nd term I’ll still be a spry 55 years young. Why, at the END of my second term I’ll actually be younger than many former-presidents were when they won their FIRST term!
If the American people like me & what I’ve done for the nation. They’re pleased with my agenda, leadership & accomplishments and would like the opportunity to elect me to a 3rd (or 4th, or …) term – why should they not be afforded that opportunity?
Further, imagine this. If during my first 8 years in office I’ve managed to seat 4 of the 9 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, & through the inevitable challenges & law suits this 22nd amendment repeal issue ultimately lands in that court – how does that look for my chances of prevailing?
Is such a scenario far-fetched? Could never happen? Some maniac’s paranoid delusional trip? Possibly. Maybe even probably. But. For just 3 letters, “but” is an awfully big word.
As it stands now govtrack.us lists the bill as having next-to-no chance of being passed. BUT. There was once a time when a bill giving women the right to vote in federal elections had next-to-no chance of being passed. There was once a time when a bill legalizing the marriage of one man to another had next-to-no chance of being passed. There was once a time when a bill giving you the constitutional right to marijuana had next-to-no chance of passing.
All the oak trees we see today at one time were an acorn. It all has to get its start somewhere.