Michigan Term Limits Amendment, Proposal B (1992)

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Michigan Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
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The Michigan State Office Amendment, also known as Proposal B, was a initiated constitutional amendment on the November 1992 ballot in Michigan, where it was approved.

Proposal B restricted the number of times a person can be elected to congressional, state executive and state legislative offices.[1]

Specifically, for state executive and state legislative offices it limited the number of times a person could be elected as governor, attorney general, and secretary of state to two times each. It also limited the number of times a person could be elected to the state house of representatives to three times, and to the state senate two times. A provision governing partial terms was also included. These provisions became Article IV, section 54 and Article V, section 30 of the Michigan Constitution.[2]

For congressional offices it restricted the number of times a person could be elected to a Michigan congressional office, although this provision was written as a restriction on being elected no more than three times during any twelve-year time period. Finally, it "instructed" Michigan's congressional delegation to work to adopt a national term limit amendment applying to all of Congress. These latter provisions were included in Article II, section 10.[3]

The principal author of the amendment was Patrick L. Anderson, a Michigan economist.[4]

Aftermath

In February 2010 Former Michigan Govs. James Blanchard and John Engler spoke out against the 1992 voter-approved term limit measure. Engler, who initially supported the amendment, said term limits had been "disastrous" and added,"I wish it was undone." Blanchard reiterated Engler's point, he said lawmakers "are not in Lansing long enough to build up relationships of trust."[5][6]

1995 lawsuit

The provision in a state Constitution limiting federal office holders, which appeared in Michigan's and a handful of other state term limit amendments, was challenged in court as unconstitutional. In 1995, in U.S. Term Limits vs. Thornton, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not restrict federal offices through state constitutions.[7]

The ruling can be read here.

Election results

Proposal B (Term Limits Amendment)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,295,904 58.7%
No1,613,40441.3%

Text of measure

Constitutional changes

Proposal B added Article II, section 10, Article IV, section 54 and Article V, section 30 to the Michigan Constitution.

Article II, section 10 states:

Text of Section 10:

Limitations on Terms of Office of Members of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate from Michigan

No person shall be elected to office as representative in the United States House of Representatives more than three times during any twelve year period. No person shall be elected to office as senator in the United States Senate more than two times during any twenty-four year period. Any person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in the United States House of Representatives or the United States Senate for a period greater than one half of a term of such office, shall be considered to have been elected to serve one time in that office for purposes of this section. This limitation on the number of times a person shall be elected to office shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. The people of Michigan hereby state their support for the aforementioned term limits for members of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate and instruct their public officials to use their best efforts to attain such a limit nationwide. The people of Michigan declare that the provisions of this section shall be deemed severable from the remainder of this amendment and that their intention is that federal officials elected from Michigan will continue voluntarily to observe the wishes of the people as stated in this section, in the event any provision of this section is held invalid. This section shall be self-executing. Legislation may be enacted to facilitate operation of this section, but no law shall limit or restrict the application of this section. If any part of this section is held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining parts of this section shall not be affected but will remain in full force and effect.

Section 54 of Article IV states:

Limitations on Terms of Office of State Legislators

No person shall be elected to the office of state representative more than three times. No person shall be elected to the office of state senate more than two times. Any person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in the house of representatives or the state senate for a period greater than one half of a term of such office, shall be considered to have been elected to serve one time in that office for purposes of this section. This limitation on the number of times a person shall be elected to office shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993.

This section shall be self-executing. Legislation may be enacted to facilitate operation of this section, but no law shall limit or restrict the application of this section. If any part of this section is held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining parts of this section shall not be affected but will remain in full force and effect.

Article V, section 30 states:

Text of Section 30:

Limitations on Terms of Executive Officers

No person shall be elected more than two times to each office of the executive branch of government: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state or attorney general. Any person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state or attorney general for a period greater than one half of a term of such office, shall be considered to have been elected to serve one time in that office for purposes of this section. This limitation on the number of times a person shall be elected to office shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. This section shall be self-executing. Legislation may be enacted to facilitate operation of this section, but no law shall limit or restrict the application of this section. If any part of this section is held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining parts of this section shall not be affected but will remain in full force and effect.

See also

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