Open to Merit of Every Description? An Historical Assessment of the Constitution's Qualifications Clauses

52 Pages Posted: 31 May 2006

See all articles by John C. Eastman

John C. Eastman

Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence

Abstract

In U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, the Supreme Court, by a split 5-4 decision, invalidated an Arkansas term limits provision because it effectively imposed a qualification for office and, according to the Court's reading of the historical and textual evidence,. . .neither Congress nor the States . . . possess the power to supplement the exclusive qualifications set forth in the text of the Constitution. The Court relied heavily on the historical assessment made previously by the court in Powell v. McCormack. This article reviews and assesses the historical evidence upon which the Powell Court relied by looking at the four principal debates in Congress over contested elections in which a state-imposed qualification was at issue, and concludes that the arguments in favor of the constitutionality of state-imposed term limits are stronger than those against.

Keywords: Term limits

JEL Classification: H10, H11, H77, K30, K40, N40

Suggested Citation

Eastman, John C., Open to Merit of Every Description? An Historical Assessment of the Constitution's Qualifications Clauses. Denver University Law Review, Vol. 73, p. 89, 1995, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=905175

John C. Eastman (Contact Author)

Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence

1317 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite 120
Upland, CA 91786
United States
877-855-3330 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.claremont.org/center-for-constitutional-jurisprudence/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
58
Abstract Views
740
rank
429,963
PlumX Metrics