Ark. Amendment On Congressional Term Limits Unconstitutional

1995

In U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, the U.S. Supreme Court looks at the constitutionality of an Arkansas constitutional amendment that limits the number of times a candidate can run for the same office – two terms for senators and three terms for representatives to Congress. In striking down the state-mandated term limits, the Supreme Court observes that each member of Congress is “an officer of the union, deriving his powers and qualifications from the Constitution, and these qualifications are neither created by, dependent upon, nor controllable by, the states.” The Court further notes that “with the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment, state power over the election of Senators was eliminated, and Senators, like Representatives, were to be elected directly by the People.”