The 20th Amendment

Actual Term Limits

The 20th Amendment

The President and the Vice President’s term is over at noon on January 20th, while the term limits of Senators and the House of Representatives end on the 3rd day of January. Congress needs to assemble once a year, while that meeting begins at noon on the 3rd day of January, unless the law sets up a different day.

If the President dies, the Vice President then steps up to become President. The President-Elect has to fail to qualify, and the Vice President-elect acts as President, until a President should be appointed. Congress is the elected body that can make sure that a President-elect becomes appointed. The Senate can then elect a Vice President. The 20th Amendment was ratified on January 23rd, 1933. The Presidential term runs from March 4th to January 20th, and members of Congress have a term from March 4th to January 3rd. At times there are Congress people who do not get elected. This Amendment establishes the rules in case a sitting President dies or is ruled incompetent. The 20th Amendment reads that the Congress shall assemble at noon on January 3rd. Congress should meet at least once a year but Congress could set a different date when those terms would begin or end, and historically, in September 1788, nine states had ratified the Constitution. The Congress of Confederation set out on March 4th, 1789, to start the newly organized government that the world had never seen before as an institution. In the past, these rules had created a way for the House of Representatives to be unable to resolve the 1800 election and the 1876 election.

The true test of this Amendment came on February 15th, 1933, twenty-three days after the Amendment was adopted, when President Roosevelt was the victim of an assassination attempt by Giuseppe Zangara and while he wasn’t injured, it would mean that Vice President-elect John Nance Garner would have become president on March 4th, 1933.

According to the current laws, it still stands that the House of Representatives has to elect the President or the Senate has to elect the Vice President if either candidate dies. The second term of President Roosevelt and Vice President Garner on January 20th, 1937. Section 1 had shortened the first full term of both, from 1933-1937, by 43 days. Garner served as vice-president for two full terms but he did not serve a full eight years from March 4th, 1933, to January 20th, 1941. Term limits are necessary for the function of government. Today, term limits involve being 12 years in office, if duly re-elected. In Late 2016, Senator Mitch McConnell had declared that as long as he ran the Senate, there would be no new term limits. Old Congresses fade away while new ones are made on January 3rd of every year after the general elections in November. In 2019, three special elections will be held to determine who fills vacant US House of Representatives seats. Candidates for Congress know that it is critical to end some representative’s political careers. Term limits are an issue that Congress is still trying to sort out with the 20th Amendment in mind. Congress then enacted term limits in 15 state legislatures, as well as congressional term limits in 23 states. This organization is trying to enact legislative term limits because Americans are ready for genuine change in Congress through the US Term Limits Constitutional Amendment Pledge that calls for Congressional term limits of three terms in the House and two in the Senate because term limits are a polarizing issue in our government even today.

Works Cited

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Iria Vasquez-Paez

I have a B.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State. Can people please donate? I'm very low-income. I need to start an escape the Ferengi plan. 

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