Tag Archives: legislatures

Term limits: a brief perspective

Richard LaRossa

By Senator Richard J. LaRossa

James Madison, considered the Father of the United States Constitution, succinctly stated, “Generally, I oppose term limits.” He believed that through the natural course of elections, the ineffective would be defeated, while others would simply tire of serving and not stand for reelection. In that same vein, he foresaw situations where a representative would exceed expectations and become a source of information and leadership for less experienced members.

Thomas Jefferson, however, offered an alternative view on the subject. Jefferson felt that the Constitution needed safeguards “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office.” Jefferson envisioned individuals amassing power through length of service. Power, which Jefferson believed would lead to a self-serving and corrupt government.