Via - June 18, 2009 - by Brooks Jackson

Q: Is there a move to make Obama eligible for more than two terms as president?

A: A bill that proposes repealing the 22nd Amendment has been introduced, but so far it has very little support.

It's true that New York Rep. Jose Serrano, a Democrat, introduced a bill (H.J.RES.5) on Jan. 6, when Congress opened, proposing the repeal of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limits presidents to two terms. Repealing that amendment would require ratification by three-fourths of the states.

The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties and is sitting there now. It has no cosponsors.

Serrano introduced or cosponsored the same proposal in 1997 and 1999, when Democrat Bill Clinton was president, and again in 2001 just days before Republican George Bush was sworn in for his first term. He also introduced it in 2003, 2005 and 2007, all before Barack Obama even announced he was running for president.

All of these bills died in committee without ever coming to a vote. None of Serrano's bills attracted any cosponsors, except for the 1997 and 1999 versions, each of which was cosponsored by Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut, a Republican.

Furthermore, when we asked Rep. Serrano about this, he stated in an e-mail message to us that the White House was not supporting his measure or offering him any advice about it.

Rep. Serrano, June 15: I introduce it [the repeal bill] as a matter of principle: I do not believe there should be term limits for any elected official. Elections should be the deciding factor. I do not receive advice or support on this bill from the White House or any other source.

Other Repeal Efforts

Similar measures also were introduced in 2001, 2003 and 2005 by Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and a handful of House members. Most of Hoyer's cosponsors were Democrats, but Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner cosponsored Hoyer's bill each time. And Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois cosponsored it in 2001 and 2003. Hoyer put in all these repeal measures while Bush was president and Democrats were in the minority in the House. All of the bills died in committee.

Why would Democrats want to repeal term limits to allow a Republican president to serve a third term? Hoyer explained in remarks printed in the Congressional Record when he introduced the bill in 2005, weeks after Bush had been sworn in for his second term:

Hoyer, Feb. 17, 2005: The time has come to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, and not because of partisan politics. While I am not a supporter of the current President, I feel there are good public policy reasons for a repeal of this amendment. Under the Constitution as altered by the 22nd Amendment, this must be President George W. Bush’s last term even if the American people should want him to continue in office. This is an undemocratic result. Under the resolution I offer today, President Bush would not be eligible to run for a third term. However, the American people would have restored to themselves and future generations an essential democratic privilege to elect who they choose in the future.

We neither endorse nor oppose Hoyer's argument, and we take no position on term limits for presidents or for any other office. We do say that there's no evidence that Obama is pushing for repeal and little sign of partisan motivation for Serrano's bill. Furthermore, repeal proposals show no more signs of life now than they have over the past decade.

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Maybe I'm rusty on my Presidential history, but other presidents have served longer than 2 terms, right? But that is besides the point. This sounds similar to a bill introduced regarding gun legislation that caused a fury of emails and spread word of mouth as fact that Obama and his Demoncrats were pushing this through. Turns out it was a lone democrat with no co-sponsors, no hope, and the bill had already died a quiet death.

Jumping at shadows seems to be good way to rouse the base of conservative paranoids.
22nd Amendment was passed in 1947.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served from 1933 to 1945, is the only president elected to more than two terms. Under the 22nd amendment it would be possible for a president to serve two full four-year terms after having assumed the Presidency by means other than election for a duration of up to two years. However, no president besides Roosevelt has ever served more than eight years.
That was the one I had in mind. I didn't realize he was the only one, though. Damn you, public education!
I believe that George Washington set precedent in refusing to run for a third term, explaining that he wanted the role of president to be clearly different from the roles of European kings. All presidents after him followed his example, until FDR. In the midst of a world war, people wanted to keep the president they knew and trusted. However, those who saw the two term limit as an important means of keeping the U.S. from becoming like a monarchy weren't so happy about FDR serving four terms, and they succeeded in passing the 22nd amendment.

Thank you, Wisconsin public education. :)
Yep, that's what I was taught.

Thank you US Military base education. :)
Yeah... no.
I saw Starwars.. I know how this shit pans out. First you kill term limitations, then you promote yourself from president to Emperor.. then you take over the galaxy..
We do that, then the soil or natural born-only presidential candidates article is repealed, and before you can blink, Arnie will be running the universe.
I know. I saw it on a website!

Besides, wouldn't it be easier for Obama to just start running as VP after 2 terms (IF he's ever even re-elected?) From there he can either just have a puppet ticket-mate or kill the guy off once they're in.
Hmm, I was thinking that there was a ten-year maximum, but it's only a limitation on the number of times a person can run for President after having served as Vice President. Technically, a President could serve 2 terms, run as vice-president, take over as President if his running mate dies. Run as VP again the next term, take over again, ad nauseum.
I'm thinking by the time said president was running as vice for the third time, and the previously three presidents had been disposed of by some means... Someone would notice and complain.
See... That's what I said.. and yet we still have Starwars. ~shifty eyed look~
You'd think so. But somehow, those wicked (insert group to fear here) keep getting through, and only the experience of the VP can protect us.
As I recall, he's also the only President to have served 2 non-consecutive terms.


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