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Article XVIII, Nebraska Constitution

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Nebraska Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIII
Article XVIII of the Nebraska Constitution consists of eight sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Statement of Intent

The people of the State of Nebraska want to amend the United States Constitution to establish term limits on Congress that will ensure representation in Congress by true citizen lawmakers. The President of the United States is limited by the XXII Amendment to the United States Constitution to two terms in office. Governors in forty states are limited to two terms or less. Voters have established term limits for over two thousand state legislators as well as over seventeen thousand local officials across the country. Nevertheless, Congress has ignored our desire for term limits not only by proposing excessively long terms for its own members but also by utterly refusing to pass an amendment for genuine congressional term limits. Congress has a clear conflict of interest in proposing a term limits amendment to the United States Constitution. A majority of both Republicans and Democrats in the 104th Congress voted against a constitutional amendment containing the term limits passed by a wide margin of Nebraska voters. The people, not Congress, should set term limits. We hereby establish as the official position of the citizens and State of Nebraska that our elected officials should enact by constitutional amendment congressional term limits of three terms in the United States House of Representatives and of two terms in the United States Senate.

The career politicians dominating Congress have a conflict of interest that prevents Congress from being what the founders intended, the branch of government closest to the people. The politicians have refused to heed the will of the people for term limits; they have voted to dramatically raise their own pay; they have provided lavish million-dollar pensions for themselves; and they have granted themselves numerous other privileges at the expense of the people. Most importantly, members of Congress have enriched themselves while running up huge deficits to support their spending. They have put the government nearly $5,000,000,000,000.00 (five trillion dollars) in debt, gravely threatening the future of our children and grandchildren.

The corruption and appearance of corruption brought about by political careerism is destructive to the proper functioning of the first branch of our representative government. Congress has grown increasingly distant from the people of the states. The people have the sovereign right and compelling interest in creating a citizen Congress that will more effectively protect our freedom and prosperity. This interest and right may not effectively be served in any way other than that proposed by this initiative.

We hereby state our intention on behalf of the people of Nebraska, that this initiative lead to the adoption of the following amendment to the United States Constitution:

Congressional Term Limits Amendment to the United States Constitution

Section 1. No person shall serve in the office of United States Representative for more than three terms, but upon ratification of this amendment no person who has held the office of United States Representative or who then holds the office shall serve for more than two additional terms.

Section 2. No person shall serve in the office of United States Senator for more than two terms, but upon ratification of this amendment no person who has held the office of United States Senator or who then holds the office shall serve for more than one additional term.

Section 3. This article shall have no time limit within which it must be ratified to become operative upon the ratification of the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states.

Therefore, we the people of the State of Nebraska, have chosen to amend the Constitution of Nebraska to inform voters regarding incumbent and nonincumbent federal and state candidates' support for the congressional term limits amendment provided for in this section.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Instruction to Members of Congressional Delegation; Ballot Notation; When

(1) We, the voters of Nebraska, hereby instruct each member of our congressional delegation to use all of his or her delegated powers to pass the congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution.

(2) All primary and general election ballots shall have printed the information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" adjacent to the name of any United States Senator or United States Representative who:

(a) Fails to vote in favor of the proposed congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution, when brought to a vote;

(b) Fails to second such proposed congressional term limits amendment if it lacks for a second before any proceeding of the legislative body;

(c) Fails to propose or otherwise bring to a vote of the full legislative body such proposed congressional term limits amendment if it otherwise lacks a legislator who so proposes or brings to a vote of the full legislative body such proposed congressional term limits amendment;

(d) Fails to vote in favor of all votes bringing such proposed congressional term limits amendment before any committee or subcommittee of the respective house upon which he or she serves;

(e) Fails to reject any attempt to delay, table, or otherwise prevent a vote by the full legislative body of such proposed congressional term limits amendment;

(f) Fails to vote against any proposed constitutional amendment that would establish longer term limits than those in the proposed congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution, regardless of any other actions in support of such proposed congressional term limits amendment;

(g) Sponsors or cosponsors any proposed constitutional amendment or law that would increase term limits beyond those in the proposed congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution; or

(h) Fails in any way to ensure that all votes on congressional term limits are recorded and made available to the public.

(3) The information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" shall not appear adjacent to the names of incumbent candidates for Congress if the congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution, is before the states for ratification or has become part of the United States Constitution.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Nonincumbent Candidates; Term Limits Pledge; Ballot Notation; When

(1) Nonincumbent candidates for the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the Legislature should be given an opportunity to take a "Term Limits Pledge" regarding term limits each time they file to run for such offices. Any such person who declines to take the "Term Limits Pledge" shall have the information "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TERM LIMITS" printed adjacent to his or her name on every primary and general election ballot.

(2) The "Term Limits Pledge" shall be offered to nonincumbent candidates for the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the Legislature until a constitutional amendment which limits the number of terms of United States Senators to no more than two and United States Representatives to no more than three has become part of our United States Constitution.

(3) The "Term Limits Pledge" that each nonincumbent candidate, set forth in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, shall be offered is as follows: I support term limits and pledge to use all my legislative powers to enact the proposed constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution. If elected, I pledge to vote in such a way that the designation "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" will not appear adjacent to my name.

......................... Signature of Candidate

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Instruction to Members of the Legislature; Ballot Notation; When

(1) We the voters of Nebraska, hereby instruct each member of the Legislature to use all of his or her delegated powers to pass an application pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution as set forth in subsection (2) of this section, and to ratify, if proposed, the congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution.

(2) Application: We, the people and the Legislature, due to our desire to establish term limits on Congress, hereby make application to Congress, pursuant to our power under Article V of the United States Constitution, to call a convention for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution.

(3) All primary and general election ballots shall have the information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" printed adjacent to the name of any respective member of the Legislature who:

(a) Fails to vote in favor of the application set forth in subsection (2) of this section when brought to a vote;

(b) Fails to second the application if it lacks for a second;

(c) Fails to vote in favor of all votes bringing the application before any committee or subcommittee upon which he or she serves;

(d) Fails to propose or otherwise bring to a vote of the full legislative body the application if it otherwise lacks a legislator who so proposes or brings to a vote of the full legislative body the application;

(e) Fails to vote against any attempt to delay, table, or otherwise prevent a vote by the full legislative body on the application;

(f) Fails in any way to ensure that all votes on the application are recorded and made available to the public;

(g) Fails to vote against any change, addition, or modification to the application;

(h) Fails to vote in favor of the congressional term limits amendment if it is sent to the states for ratification; or

(i) Fails to vote against any term limits amendment with longer terms if such an amendment is sent to the states for ratification.

(4) The information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" shall not appear adjacent to the names of candidates for the Legislature as required by subdivisions (3)(a) through (3)(g) of this section if the State of Nebraska has made an application to Congress for a convention for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution pursuant to this initiative and such application has not been withdrawn or the congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution, has been submitted to the states for ratification.

(5) The information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" shall not appear adjacent to the names of candidates for the Legislature as required by subdivisions (3)(h) and (3)(i) of this section if the State of Nebraska has ratified the proposed congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution.

(6) The information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" shall not appear adjacent to the names of candidates for the Legislature as required by subdivisions (3)(a) through (3)(i) of this section if the proposed congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution, has become part of the United States Constitution.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Ballot Notation; Secretary of State; Duties; Appeal

(1) The Secretary of State shall be responsible to make an accurate determination as to whether a candidate for the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, or the Legislature shall have placed adjacent to his or her name on the election ballot the information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" or "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TERM LIMITS."

(2) The Secretary of State shall consider timely submitted public comments prior to making the determination required in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The Secretary of State, in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, shall determine and declare what information, if any, shall appear adjacent to the name of each incumbent member of Congress if he or she was to be a candidate in the next election. In the case of United States Representatives and United States Senators, this determination and declaration shall be made in a fashion necessary to ensure the orderly printing of primary and general election ballots with allowance made for all legal action provided in subsections (5) and (6) of this section, and shall be based upon his or her action during his or her current term of office and any action taken in any concluded term, if such action was taken after the determination and declaration was made by the Secretary of State in a previous election. In the case of incumbent members of the Legislature, this determination and declaration shall be made not later than thirty days after the end of the regular session following each general election, and shall be based upon legislative action in the previous regular session.

(4) The Secretary of State shall determine and declare what information, if any, will appear adjacent to the names of nonincumbent candidates for Congress and the Legislature, not later than five business days after the deadline for filing for the office.

(5) If the Secretary of State makes the determination that the information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" or "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TERM LIMITS" shall not be placed on the ballot adjacent to the name of a candidate for the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, or the Legislature, any elector may appeal such decision within five business days to the Nebraska Supreme Court as an original action or shall waive any right to appeal such decision; in which case the burden of proof shall be upon the Secretary of State to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the candidate has met the requirements set forth in this article and therefore should not have the information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" or "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TERM LIMITS" printed on the ballot adjacent to the candidate's name.

(6) If the Secretary of State determines that the information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" or "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TERM LIMITS" shall be placed on the ballot adjacent to a candidate's name, the candidate or any elector may appeal such decision within five business days to the Nebraska Supreme Court as an original action or shall waive any right to appeal such decision; in which case the burden of proof shall be upon the candidate or any elector to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the candidate should not have the information "DISREGARDED VOTERS INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" or "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TERM LIMITS" printed on the ballot adjacent to the candidate's name.

(7) The Nebraska Supreme Court shall hear the appeal provided for in subsection (5) of this section and issue a decision within sixty days. The Nebraska Supreme Court shall hear the appeal provided for in subsection (6) of this section and issue a decision not later than sixty-one days before the date of the election.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Automatic Repeal; When

At such time as the congressional term limits amendment set forth in Article XVIII, section 1, of this Constitution, has become part of the United States Constitution, sections 1 through 6 of this article automatically shall be repealed.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Legal Challenge; Jurisdiction

Any legal challenge to this initiative shall be filed as an original action before the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Severability

If any portion, clause, or phrase of this initiative is, for any reason, held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining portions, clauses, and phrases shall not be affected, but shall remain in full force and effect.

External links

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