This week, as Congress headed back to work, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex) has introduced a Constitutional Amendment to provide for Term Limits for both the House of representatives and the Senate. He said that the American people are frustrated with the corruption in Congress, and that “the most effective way” to eliminate that corruption is to provide term limits via Constitutional amendment.
The idea of Term Limits stretches back to the ancient Greek democratic City-States and even the Roman Republic had them. As most of the Framers were well versed in the classics ideas of history, is it a surprise that for the new federal Constitution they left out the idea of limiting how long a person could serve in Congress and the Presidency?
Obviously the Constitution was amended to change the limits on the President, and when we consider why that happened – at least officially – we begin to see that the idea that drove term limits in the first place had long been forgotten. But is it now time to extend it to Congress?
Several of the State – including California – have Term Limits that are intended to prevent corruption in the legislative process. Do they accomplish that task?
So at the end of the day, are Term Limits really all that bad of an idea? Why did the Framers leave them out of the Constitution if they are a good idea? Should we amend the Constitution to provide for limits on Congress?
Or is it possible that something else might provide the answer?