In Illinois, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan is the poster child for term limits. A member of the state House since 1971, he has been Speaker for all but two years since 1983. The vast majority of Illinoisans have not been able to cast a single vote either for or against Madigan, yet he holds the real power in Springfield.
Given where this state is financially, most Illinoisans, we suspect, would be in favor of his reign coming to an end.
There’s also plenty of precedent for term limits in the U.S. The 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution limits an American president to two elected terms in office, or just one elected term if the president fills at least two years of another elected president’s term. Thirty-six states have term limits for governor, and 15 states have term limits for their legislative branches.
Bruce Rauner, Republican candidate for Illinois governor, and the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits are gathering signatures in an attempt to get a term limit amendment on the November ballot. We support efforts to give Illinois voters a say, and we’d support a similar effort nationally for members of Congress.
We’ll never fully be able to eliminate money’s influence on our elected officials, but term limits are a better option than curbing First Amendment rights.
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