OnTermLimits&Call4ConstitutionalConvention.ConConStudy.Marquette.1996.pdf - Marquette Law Review Volume 80 Issue 1 Fall 1996 Article 7 An Essay on


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Marquette Law Review Volume 80 Issue 1 Fall 1996 Article 7 An Essay on Term Limits and a Call for a Constitutional Convention Ronald D. Rotunda Stephen J. Safranek Follow this and additional works at: Part of the Law Commons This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Journals at Marquette Law Scholarly Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Marquette Law Review by an authorized administrator of Marquette Law Scholarly Commons. For more information, please contact [email protected] . Repository Citation Ronald D. Rotunda and Stephen J. Safranek, An Essay on Term Limits and a Call for a Constitutional Convention , 80 Marq. L. Rev. 227 (1996). Available at:
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AN ESSAY ON TERM LIMITS AND A CALL FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION RONALD D. ROTUNDA* AND STEPHEN . SAFRANEK** I. INTRODUCTION While term limits on state officials are quite common,' and raise no serious federal constitutional problems, 2 term limits on federal legislators are a different matter.' In United States Term Limits v. Thornton, 4 the Supreme Court, by a five to four majority, declared unconstitutional an Arkansas law limiting ballot access for incumbent U.S. Senators and Representatives after Senators had served two terms or Representatives three terms. 5 The Thornton majority held that state efforts to impose term limits * The Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law. ** Associate Professor of Law, University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law. He is indebted to Diana Azzopardi for her extensive help on this article. 1. Over twenty governors now live with them. Miyazawa v. City of Cincinnati, 825 F. Supp. 816, 821 (S.D. Ohio 1993). Municipal term limits, which date back as far as 1851, are in effect in approximately 3,000 American cities, including such major metropolises as New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, and Denver. Danielle Farge, Microcosmsof the Movement: Local Term Limits in the United States, 4 TERM LIMITS OUTLOOK SERIES 1 & appendix, pp. 1-16 (No. 2, Aug. 1995). Term limits on state legislators are becoming more common. As of 1994, 16 states imposed term limits on state legislators. Mark P. Petracca, Restoring "The University in Rotation": An Essay in Defense of Term Limitation, in THE POLITICS AND LAW OF TERM LIMITS 57 & n.1 (Edward H. Crane & Roger Pilon eds., 1994). See generally Stephen J. Safranek, Term Limitations: Do the Winds of Change Blow Unconstitutional?, 26 CREIGHTON L. REv. 321 (1993). 2. See, e.g., Legislature v. Eu, 816 P.2d 1309 (Cal. 1991) (rejecting free speech and equal protection claims to term limits imposed on state legislative officials). 3. See STEPHEN J. SAFRANEI, THE CONSTITUTIONAL CASE FOR TERM LIMITS: THE COURTS, THE CONGRESS, AND THE MEANING OF FEDERALISM (1993); Ronald D. Rotunda, Rethinking Term Limits for Federal Legislators in Light of the Structure of the Constitution, 73 OR. L. REV. 561 (1994) (discussing the constitutional issues of term limits on federal legislatures).
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