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Constitution Monday: Roosevelt Amendment

Here is the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

AMENDMENT XXII

Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

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 President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by 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.

Until this amendment was ratified in 1951, there was no limit to the number of terms a President could serve if he or she kept getting reelected. President Washington could likely have been President for Life on the installment plan by running every four years. Thankfully he set us a different example by stepping down after two terms.

No President served more than two terms until the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who died in office during his fourth term.

The 22nd Amendment is often called the “Roosevelt Amendment” because it was passed to prevent future Presidents from serving more than two terms as FDR had.

Although my personal feeling is that most people are happy with the two-term limit for President, at least some have argued against it. James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn claimed in 2006 that the 22nd Amendment actually acts against accountability. What do you think?

References:

FDR Biography from National Park Service – http://www.nps.gov/fdrm/fdr/biography.htm

No More Second Term Blues by James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn, New York Times, January 5, 2006. – http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/05/opinion/05burns.html

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2 Responses

  1. read your comment over at IM…great post by the way…and a very nice blog over here. nice flow of info…didn’t know that about the 22nd amend.

  2. Hi Teal, Thanks for your kind words. Glad I was able to let you know about an amendment.

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