rs at robertsheridan.com
Fri Oct 24 09:54:01 PDT 2008
A question regarding the constitutionality of term limits legislation,
I believe that there is a principle of Congressional lawmaking which
holds that today's legislature may not bind tomorrow's. Tomorrow's
may repeal yesterday's. A constitutional amendment would be required
to bind the hands of future legislators.
The New York City Council has voted to enable NY Mayor Michael
Bloomberg (and some other elected officials) to run for a third term,
despite a "term limits law twice approved by voters," according to
Can a representative city counsel legally vote to override a vote of
the general public?
Can today's public bind the hands of a future public, absent a
constitutional amendment to some constitution, say the State of New
York's, or NYC's city charter in this case?
Should the voting public vote into office a candidate in violation of
the terms of a prior voter-approved term limit law (not amounting to a
constitutional amendment), which vote should take precedence, the
earlier or the later? I'd also thought that later expressions of a
legislature were deemed to override earlier expressions, acting as an
implicit repealer. Why wouldn't this principle of later expression
apply in the case of two contrasting votes by the general public?
It seems one thing for the public to overrule itself, and another for
the subset, its agent (the city council), to overrule the public.
Yet, Mayor Bloomberg couldn't have got on the ballot without the
enabling legislation, could he?
I hate again to plead ignorance (yet the fact remains...), but has the
Court upheld term limits? I suspect it must have, but I don't know
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