Delta College University
Constitutional Amendment paper
May 24th, 2019
In 1776 our first president, George Washington had just been president for the last 8 years when he set the two-term precedent in 1796 after passing on running for a third term. A quote by Washington “The line between Parties regards neither truth nor decency; attacking every character, without respect to persons – Public or Private, – who happen to differ from themselves in Politics.” which shows his thoughts towards longer terms. Our founding fathers, including George Washington, saw a two-term limit as conventional.
Fast forwarding 150 years, in 1940 Franklin Roosevelt broke the Washington precedent and ran for a third term after the war had broken out in Europe. This is when Roosevelt promised he would keep the united states out. A discussion about setting a two-term limit started in 1944 after Roosevelt had won his fourth and final term when people feared that anything longer would threaten their democracy. The bill was then introduced in January of 1947. This did not prompt a big discussion once proposed by Congress.
The Twenty-second amendment passed on March 21st, 1947 and was officially ratified on February 27th, 1951. 41 states approved the amendment while only 2 rejected it. 18 states ratified the amendment in the year of 1947. Between 1948 and 1950 6 states ratified it. The 17 remaining states ratified this amendment in 1951. Although those 2 states rejected in 1947 and 1949, they are being Massachusetts and Oklahoma. Therefore, it took 3 years, 11 months, and 3 days. The House approved the two-term limit by a vote of 285 to 121. All 238 Republican Members who voted had supported the amendment. 13 democrats joined 46 Republicans in supporting the 22nd amendment. Republicans strongly supported this amendment and its passing, as not one Republican refused it.
Ever since the 22nd amendment was passed there have been several attempts to repeal it. At least 20 attempts alone have been made in the past 20 years by Congress. Two lawmakers Steny Hoyer and Jose Serrano reintroduced bills repeatedly to repeal the 22nd amendment but have stopped since Trump became president. Hoyer pushed for at least six bills to repeal the amendment between 1995 and 2005, while Serrano pushed for five between 2005 and 2013. They really pushed for this during George w. Bush’s presidency, even towards the end when he was not doing so great. Although Trump has made several jokes about running for a third term so he could achieve “president for life”. It would take a lot for him to get the 22nd amendment repealed. To add, Harry Truman was another president that was strongly against the 22nd amendment and stated that it was the worst thing added to the constitution besides the...