Federalist papers and term limits
Federalist papers and term limits
If a return can be obtained, no matter by what unlawful means, the irregular member, who takes his seat of course, is sure of holding it a sufficient time to answer his purposes. The other interior objects will require a proportional degree of information with regard to them. But this logic has weaknesses, too. The propriety of answering this question in the affirmative will appear from several very obvious considerations. The affairs of the Union will become more and more objects of curiosity and conversation among the citizens at large. Constantly facing reelection, members of Congress feel pressured to devote more time to raising campaign funds than to serving the people. One perhaps can expect, as America moves more deeply into the next round of presidential politics, that the Constitution will take on new meanings on the stump.
The second question stated is, whether biennial elections be necessary or useful. Each branch of government is framed so that its power checks the power of the other two branches; additionally, each branch of government is dependent on the people, who are the source of legitimate authority.
Anti federalists term limits
In searching for the grounds of this doctrine, I can discover but one, and that is wholly inapplicable to our case. And although the House of Representatives is not immediately to participate in foreign negotiations and arrangements, yet from the necessary connection between the several branches of public affairs, those particular branches will frequently deserve attention in the ordinary course of legislation, and will sometimes demand particular legislative sanction and co-operation. How can taxes be judiciously imposed and effectually collected, if they be not accommodated to the different laws and local circumstances relating to these objects in the different States? Term limits would reduce the chances for legislators to get to know each other and use those relationships to the advantage of both parties and, of course, the people. Each branch of government is framed so that its power checks the power of the other two branches; additionally, each branch of government is dependent on the people, who are the source of legitimate authority. The twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution imposed the present two-tier term limit on the executive branch. One constitutional fantasy is that the Supreme Court should not really have members who can serve for their lifetimes, a choice left entirely to them personally so long as they behave themselves and do not give reasons to seek to unseat them involuntarily.
This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. How many jobs are there, where it takes eight, 10,12 years, to learn how to do it?
The distance which many of the representatives will be obliged to travel, and the arrangements rendered necessary by that circumstance, might be much more serious objections with fit men to this service, if limited to a single year, than if extended to two years.
Thornton did not argue the pros and cons of term limits, but did address how term limits could not be imposed by individual states. While imposing term limits might not have much of an effect on the overall amount of money in politics, it would at least limit the amount of time elected officials will have to donate to fundraising.
The mere fact that a person has already served should not deny the voters a chance to return them to office. The desirability of congressional term limits lies in their ability to make legislators less responsive to their voters.
It would be wrong to allow individual states to design their own congressional qualifications as it would chip away at our symbol of unity. It's true, term limits will get rid of some bad apples in Congress, but they will force out of office some good apples, and long before they ripen into great ones.
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