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22nd Amendment

22nd Amendment

What is the 22nd amendment?

The 22nd amendment limits the president to only two 4 year terms in office. Before the 22nd amendment, Presidents traditionally served two terms, following the example of George Washington. Franklin D Roosevelt broke this tradition during his presidency and served four terms, as World War II and the Great Depression convinced him to run for a third and fourth term since the country was in crisis. After FDR died in 1945, many Americans began to recognize that having a president serve more than eight years was bad for the country. This led to the 22nd amendment, which was passed by Congress in 1947 and ratified by the states by 1951.

What is the text of the 22nd amendment?

Section 1

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice…

(No one is eligible to be 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…

(this includes anyone that was not elected but filled in for another person that was elected president for at least 2 years of the term)

…shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

(this is considered a full term and that person is ineligible to run for a third term)

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.

(this entire section basically says that the amendment does not apply to whoever is in the office whenever the 22nd amendment is ratified.)

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.

(This amendment, ratified in 1947, would have become invalid in 1957 is ¾ of the states did not approve it)

Will the 22nd amendment always apply in the future?

Obviously, if there is a popular two-term president, his or her supporters will talk about repealing the 22nd amendment to ensure they stay in office. However, anytime a repeal of the 22nd amendment is discussed in Congress, it is never a serious discussion that reaches debate. Even altering the 22nd amendment, to allow more terms or for congress to approve a President to run again is not popular and is not likely to be changed in the future.

Another detail is that the 22nd amendment stops candidates from being elected President, but it does not mention running for President. The is the possibility that candidates may run have taken the right to be president to the Supreme Court, although the candidate would most certainly lose, as the 22nd amendment makes it unconstitutional to be elected.



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