Being Canadians, my significant other and I were having a disagreement about term limits for the President. Is the prohibition against serving more than two consecutive terms, or more than two terms, period. I mean, could Bill Clinton conceivable run again in 2004?
Oh Great! Now I have something else to worry about.
Two terms, period. Clinton can’t be president again unless they amend the Constitution.
As I understand it, the prohibition is against more than two CONSECUTIVE terms, meaning that Clinton could run for president next time around.
Short answer : no. The limit is two terms total (two elections), with some minor stuff thrown in. See long answer.
Long answer : the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which made this the law of the land :
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held
the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person
was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not
apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not
prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within
which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the
remainder of such term.
Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution
by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the
states by the Congress.
Twenty-second Amendment to US Constitution stats
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.
Full text of the amendment here- http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/constitution/amdt22.html
Oops. Simultaneous post.
One can be President for non-consecutive terms. The limit is being ELECTED twice.
It’s not clear if Gore could have made Clinton his running mate, won, and resigned - Clinton would not have been getting elected President more than twice.
Thanks, panama, but I just lost 20 bucks :(.
Although violating the spirit of the amendment, it may have been possible for Clinton to run as Vice President and upon the incapacity of the President to again assume the Presidency. That is if the American people would have accepted a ticket with Clinton as VP.
The amendment was in response to the twelve-year run of Franklin Roosevelt. Prior to his tenure, circumstance had managed to keep the two-term precedent set by George Washington (although several two-term presidents tried for a third). Roosevelt smashed that precedent by getting elected four times. He died very early into his fourth term.
Since then, only Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson had a reasonable chance of exceeding the eight-year limit. The law did not apply to Truman because the amendment was enacted while he was in office, and he seriously considered running again in 1952. Johnson served the last fourteen or so months of Kennedy’s term which kept him under the ten-year upper limit, and made him eligible for reelection in 1968. He chose not to run.
I’m not sure about Gerald Ford. He would have had to get elected in the first place.
Clinton might be eligible for appointment to the position of VP as long as it is more than two years into the term. He is not eligible to run for election as Vice, as much as the title suits him.
Have to disagree with this one Sofa
Thers is nothing in the 22nd amendment that would prohibit Clinton from running as VP. It only prohibits him from being elected to the office of the Presidency.
He would not be ineligibe from the 12th amendement since he is eligible to be President. Just not eligible to be elected President.
I would argue that the candidate for Vice is required to meet all of the requirements for the office of the President.
Therefore Clinton is ineligible under Amendment 22 for Vice President just as if he were running for the big kahuna again.
“But no person constitutionally ineligible
for the office of President shall be
eligible to that of Vice-President of the
United States.” – Amendment XII
So, presumably Clinton could NOT have run for the office of Vice President, either. One would have to imagine a much more convoluted scenario to get a third term for Clinton.
Constitution makes no provision about spouses of ex-Presidents, however. So, Clinton COULD get back in the White House…
This would be a truly remarkable circumstance, but it sounds like somebody could, say, ascend to the presidency from the VP position 5 times and serve out the terms for a total of, say, 15 years in office, and still be eligible to be elected President. Once.
Would you choose a VP running mate, though, who had seen four previous presidents die while he waited in the wings?
Also, if Clinton were to be named to the cabinet, or run for U.S. Representative and stay there long enough to be Speaker of the House, he would be removed from the line of succession, as he is now ineligible for the office of the president.
Article II of the Constitution states specifically who is “eligible to the Office of President”:
The 12th Amendment language only bars from the vice-presidency those persons who are “ineligible to the office” of President.
Based on Article II Clinton is eligible to the office of president. He just can’t be(by the 22nd Amendment)elected to that office. No where in the 22nd Amendment does it state that he could not assume office. Nowhere in the 12th Amendment does it state that the Vice President has to be eligible to run for election as President.
uh… no, he can have two terms and that is it.
Steve that is a wonderful answer.
Would you like to support in in any way?
Show me anywhere in the constitution where the is a limit to a President serving more than two terms. There is a limit on the election to the Presidency but not to service.
For a good article on the subject by Mike Dorf (Columbia University School of Law) go here:http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20000731.html
‘Arf a mo’, guvnah. Clinton would NOT be ineligible to BE President, just to be ELECTED President. I’m sure we can agree the Supreme Court would have to rule on it, though.