US Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton Case Brief

Summary of US Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton

Facts: The Arkansas Constitution was amended to prohibit the name of an otherwise eligible candidate for Congress from appearing on the ballot if the candidate has already served three terms in the House of Representatives or two terms in Senate.

Issue: Can the states add qualifications for members of Congress?

Holding: No. The sole purpose of the amendment is to impose an additional qualification for office, which violates the Qualifications Clauses.

The provisions of Art. I, § 2, cl. 2 and Art. I, § 3, cl. 3 – enumerating the age, citizenship, and residence requirements for members of congress—are exclusive. Neither Congress nor the states may later or add to these qualifications, because this would be contrary to the Framers’ intent of a uniform national legislature elected by the people voting for whom they wish.

Judgment: Amendment is unconstitutional.



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