Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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No, the president can’t run for a 3rd term

President Donald Trump told a crowd at a political rally in Nevada on Saturday that, after he wins four more years in the White House in the November election, he would “ask for maybe another four, or so,” suggesting that he would be able to seek a third term as president, Reuters reports.

Sign in North Carolina (Bryan Regan/iStockPhoto)

Forbes also confirms the story, adding that Mr Trump said he would “negotiate” a third term because he’s “entitled” to it.

It’s not going to happen, students of American Government.

The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was passed by Congress in March 1947 and ratified by states between then and February 1951. It clearly and categorically limits presidents to being elected twice, and Donald Trump, if he wins in November, will be out of elections.

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Furthermore, if Congress should repeal the 22nd Amendment, a clause would probably be inserted, as it was in 1947, to say it would not affect the person now serving as president, which would be Mr Trump.

According to the Constitution Center, Congress has made a few attempts to repeal the 22nd Amendment, none of which made it out of committee. And even though Harry Truman was president when the amendment was ratified and would have been excluded from its restriction, he decided not to seek a third term in office.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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