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The 22nd Amendment – Part 4

April 23, 2014

The story of President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1940 election to an unprecedented third term must be told another time.  The fact that he was given a third and then a fourth term was troubling to his political opponents.

During FDR’s tenure he appointed eight justices to the Supreme Court.  Seven were still serving when he died in 1945.  Two of these seven had been appointed during his third term, and if he had lived to serve out his fourth term, he would have appointed two more.  If someone could be President for life, the independence of the judicial branch would be in jeopardy.

For this and for other reasons, on March 21, 1947 the 80th Congress proposed the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The first sentence reads: “No person shall be elected to the office of 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.”

The 22nd Amendment was ratified on February 21, 1951.

 

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