A Brief History of Term Limits

The idea of term limits is not new by any means. Thomas Jefferson worked very hard, though he was ultimately unsuccessful, to include term limits in the United States Constitution. He argued that term limits were critical “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing in office too long.” With others, Jefferson also argued that “nothing is so essential to the preservation of [our] government as periodic rotation [in office].”

We agree with Thomas Jefferson, and believe his arguments are just as valid today as they were around 250 years ago. We hope that we can help at least do for Utah’s government what he was unable to make happen in our federal government.

While some politicians may give the idea of term limits some lip-service, once elected to office, our public officials have shown time and again that they tend to want to hold on to power as long as they can. Of course, there are always some notable exceptions. But at the end of the day, history has shown that our state legislators by and large will not limit their own terms for the greater good of our political system.

In fact, as some of you may remember, back in the mid-1990s, work was being done to put together a citizen’s ballot initiative on term limits for Utah. In an effort to preempt having the people vote on the matter, the state legislature passed a term limits bill with a several-years delay before it would go into effect. Once people were no longer focused on the issue, in 2003 the state legislature repealed the bill, erasing term limits for Utah.

We don’t want that to happen again. We need a citizens’ term limit initiative to help ensure that our legislators know that term limits truly reflect the will of the people. That way, our legislature will be less likely to turn around and strike down this law once it gets on the ballot and passes, which we would expect it to do with overwhelming support.

If you’re ready to see term limits in Utah, please help us spread the word by liking us on social media and sharing our posts. We also appreciate anyone who can volunteer and/or donate. Together, we can bring positive change to our great state.

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