Recently, I received an email warning of impending legislation by Democrats to repeal the 22nd Amendment. The 22nd Amendment restricted Presidents to two terms. During the election I received many emails warning that Obama was part of a conspiracy by many groups including foreign governments to take over our country. One of the warnings was that presidential term limits would be removed making it possible for a sitting president to have unlimited powers. Well, I didn’t really believe the emails and quickly dismissed them. However I found this email worthy of investigation. There is some truth in the email.  H.J. Res 5 was introduced 6 January 2009 to 111th Congress by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY).

Apparently, this is not the first time that a resolution repealing the 22nd Amendment has been proposed.  However, each time it does not seem to make it out of committee. That is probably the same fate of H.J. Res 5. It was referred to Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on 9 February 2009.

Since 1991 Rep. Jose Serrano has proposed 114 bills. Only 107 have made it out of committee. Based on voting and proposed legislation Serrano appears to be on the far left.

While the HJ Res 5 does exist it does not appear to be the threat to our civial liberties as suggested by the email I recieved.  It does bear watching to see if anything actually happens with HJ Res 5. I am inclined to believe that it will die in committtee just as early verisions of this bill have.

6 thoughts on “Repeal of Presidential Term Limits, True or False?

  1. While it will be brought up, you are right this isn’t the first time…and in the past there have been Republicans that have brought it up bringing in a flurry of outrage saying Bush was trying to take over as well. Most of these hate monger emails are false or only partly true and they all warrant and investigation as to the truthfulness of them…though I am sure some people won’t bother and just take it at face value.

    To get some more information look at They sum it up for you there.


  2. Sandy,

    I think there are extremist on both sides that will want to introduce this type of resolution. The sponsor of the most HJ 5 appears to be on the extreme left and has sponsored some pretty out there stuff.

    Oh, thanks for the snopes link.


  3. Fearmongers on both sides have been spreading this kind of information for a long time, in a blatant attempt to make the other side look evil. It has basis in fact, since other Congressman (including just as many Republicans) have also made similar proposals, but that still doesn’t mean the hysteria has a basis in reality.

    I don’t think this means he is “far left” though, since he proposed the same bill to committee when Bush was President as well. Perhaps he is doing it because term limits do not subscribe to the intent of the Founding Fathers, at least as that intent was written in the Constitution. There are a lot of Constitutional purists out there, after all, in both parties.


  4. ENM: The far left comment was based on some of the other bills he sponsored. He seem to be attracted to fringe type things. I really don’t think it is going to happen but felt like sharing my research.


    1. Now that I see your reply and read my response again, I realize my comment was a bit unfriendly in tone, which I did not at all intend. As explanation, the .gov site you listed was down for maintenance, and my internet connection was sketchy, so I just left that comment quickly, believing you meant that this one particular bill meant he was “far left”, rather than his legislative history when taken as a whole. (I just checked again and still can’t access that site due to a 404 error; what else did he propose?)

      I definitely did not intend to paint you as a fearmonger, though I realize now that my comment may be read that way by some, because that is not at all what I think about you. Quite the contrary, in fact, since I very much like you as a person, I enjoy reading your blog, and it has never once occurred to me that you even might be a fearmonger. I really feel bad about that, to be honest. 😦

      I was basing my comment on my experience in previously having owned the political site Last Free Voice, where many of my writers (and readers) were strict constitutionalists (no, I am not one myself) so I ran into the 22nd Amendment argument quite a bit.

      The vast majority of strict constitutionalists are on the far right, by the way, and most of the rest are libertarians. There are very, very few liberals with that particular political belief system, since liberalism and strict constitutionalism are really quite incompatible, but this guy appears to be one of them since he made that proposal during both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations.

      Again, my most sincere apologies for not being clear, and especially for any negative feelings I might have caused. I assure you, I never intended to insult or upset you in any way.


    2. ENM: NP, I didn’t see your comment as unclear. I was not clear in why I called the guy far-left. I do think that there are fearmongers that start such emails. We are cool. Your response was fine.


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