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Asleep at the wheel: Why the Founders would be shocked we don't have federal term limits

The following was written by COS Texas volunteer William Collins and originally published on the Convention of States Texas blog page.

Our Founding Fathers would be appalled by the length of service many in our government take as their right. At the start of our republic, the average Congressman spent just two years in office.

Now, tenures of 20 years are common.

Senators like Dianne Feinstein (age 86) and Mitch McConnell (age 73) have been in office for over 25 years. This does not deter them from running for office again.

If Senator Feinstein is reelected she will be 92 before she can run again. Like her colleague Senator John McCain, she will probably hold onto power until she dies.

She will probably not be able to fulfill her obligations to the Senate for the last years of her life. To those of us that have studied these permanent politicians, it is obvious they are not able to meet the requirements of their office, making them vulnerable to those that would manipulate them.

Senator McCain can be seen on video speaking incoherently for months before he succumbed to his illness. By refusing to step down, the state of Arizona was left without representation for many months. Our country was short one Senator.

Except for a few anomalies the tenure of Supreme Court Justices has been about 15 years. It is now 19 and shows every indication of rising.

Justice Ginsberg is 85 years old. She has said she will not retire until after 2020 when she hopes President Trump will be replaced.



One must wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of such a statement. It is safe to assume they would wonder if she was able to fulfill the responsibilities of her office after seeing her asleep during a State of the Union speech or hearing her slowly mumble answers in a CNN interview as she struggles to stay in her chair.

The business of the country is too important for this to occur. If a judge, bureaucrat, or politician is unable to fulfill their duties, they need to either step down or be removed. Ted Kennedy, 77, Robert Byrd, 92, John McCain, 81, Frank Lautenberg, 88, and many others have clung to power until they died depriving the people of representation.

This must stop.

The Founding Fathers unanimously passed Article V of the Constitution to keep people from becoming permanent power brokers. It allows the people to call for a Convention of States to add specified amendments to the Constitution.