Term Limits

January 10, 1992 • Volume 2, Issue 1
Will a recent setback derail the term-limit movement?


Setting term limits for Members of Congress has long been talked about, but proposals drew little attention. In the last three years, however, a national term-limit movement has suddenly grown up, building on Americans' longstanding distrust of professional politicians and recent complaints of abuses by members of Congress. But term limits face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: Congress itself, which is unlikely to approve a constitutional amendment restricting congressional tenure. To circumvent Congress, term-limit supporters are trying a legally uncertain strategy: initiatives to limit terms of congressional delegations in individual states. Colorado voters approved a 12-year limit in 1990, but Washington state rejected a more stringent measure in November. Now, efforts are under way to place initiatives on the ballot in at least a dozen states.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Term Limits
Nov. 18, 1994  Testing Term Limits
Jan. 10, 1992  Term Limits
Apr. 17, 1943  Fourth Term
Mar. 19, 1927  The Third Term Tradition in American Politics
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations
Term Limits