Proposition 164, Term Limits on California's U.S. Congressional Delegation (1992)
In U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, a five-judge majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states are not allowed to limit the terms of their federal congressional delegations, thus nullifying Proposition 164.
Proposition 164 was one of 13 ballot measures on the November 1992 California ballot. Of those on the ballot, it is one of five that passed.
Proposition 164, had it not been judicially nullified, would have limited the number of terms that senators and representatives from California may serve in Congress. Under Prop 164, a person's name could not be placed on the ballot as a candidate for another term who had served:
- 12 or more of the previous 17 years as a senator from California.
- 6 or more of the previous 11 years as a representative from California.
Proposition 164 would not have limited the number of terms a person could serve over a lifetime, but would have limited the number of terms that a person could serve within a period of years.
Congressional service before 1993 did not count toward the limits.
The implementation mechanism was prohibiting California election officials from placing names of candidates on the ballot who had met the term limits specified in the measure.
Proposition 164 would not have restricted candidates from campaigning for Congress as "write-in" candidates.
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- This measure would have no direct fiscal impact on state or local governments.
- However, to the extent that the measure results in more write-in candidates, counties would have additional elections-related costs for counting write-in votes. These costs probably would not be significant on a statewide basis.
- November 3, 1992 Official Voter Guide
- Hastings California I&R database
- Los Angeles Law Library, 1992 ballot propositions