No successful efforts to limit the number of terms a member of Congress can serve were made in the 1990s. Former President Trump is facing an agenda to keep him from running for president again.
Term Limits V. Thornton
In the case of U.S. Term Limits Inc. v. Thornton from 1995, a challenge to this statute reached the highest court in the land.
As the court said in its 5-4 ruling, the Constitution establishes the qualifications for members of Congress and “states have no jurisdiction ‘to amend, add to, or lessen'” those qualifications.
Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the dissenting minority, said the court should not decide for the people of Arkansas who was qualified to represent them. That’s because the Constitution does not explicitly specify that the states have no such jurisdiction.
To be more specific, Congress is barred by the constitution itself from changing the textual qualifications of the Presidency (which the constitution itself establishes).
This is already a matter of established law within the SCOTUS case Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton.
— plɹoʍ uʍop-ǝpᴉsd∩ (@patriotmimzy) August 9, 2022
A razor-thin judgment written by Justice John Paul Stevens effectively nullified term limits in 23 states. Where is Trump’s benefit in this?
Term limits were founded on the precedent set in Powell v. McCormack, a case heard in 1969. Rep.
Adam Clayton Powell, who was no stranger to scandal, used congressional travel expenses for personal purposes and had his wife paid for a job she never showed up for.
Despite being reelected, the House’s top lawmakers approved a resolution barring him from entering office.
Powell objected to this procedure.
In a decision by an 8-1 margin, the Supreme Court ruled the Constitution, not even Congress, can establish additional qualifications for membership in the House of Representatives.
As stated in Article 1, Section 5, Congress still has the power to eject a member, but the omission is not the same as expulsion. Thus, Congress was compelled to elect Rep. Powell.
Many analysts have suggested certain motivations for the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
In violation of the Presidential Records Act, a United States official may not “willfully and unlawfully hide” or “destroy” records that fall under its purview.
The media focused mainly on the possibility that the FBI is looking for records Trump took and hid before the riot on January 6, 2021.
A breach of this statute carries with it the required penalty of “disqualification from assuming any office under the United States.”
U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995) is going to have to be reread by a lot of people soon.
— Jason Reese 🇺🇸 ⚜️ (@JasonAReese) August 9, 2022
However, this essentially establishes a new prerequisite for being president.
In addition to meeting the age and citizenship requirements, presidents would also need to prove they had never been convicted of any crimes that would result in a lifetime ban from holding the office.
Andrew Jackson, while president, was notorious for the legal and illegal killing of several persons. Lincoln authorized the arrest and detention of citizens without charge or trial. Then-President Warren Harding displayed truly shocking levels of corruption.
They might all legitimately seek reelection under the law. Certainly, President Trump will as well.