Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Have a yen to cling indefinitely to political power? You probably oppose term limits . . . as well as the citizen initiative rights enabling voters to term-limit you.

And when voters possess both initiative rights and a willingness to exercise them, it wouldn’t surprise me if you pray that any judge assessing a duly petitioned-for term limits question deems it unconstitutional. Even if it’s garnered 596,140 signatures, 300,000 more than the minimum valid signatures required.

You guessed it: Not a hypothetical scenario. And not, of course, about you.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is leading to impose eight-year term limits on all legislative service in Illinois. The petition has more than enough valid signatures to reach the ballot. But incumbents sued, citing an early 1990s decision by the Illinois Supreme Court that declared a different term limits question unconstitutional.

Cook County Judge Mary Mikva agrees; “precedent dictates a very narrow provision for allowing the voters to directly enact term amendments to the Illinois Constitution.” Her June 27 ruling is being appealed.

The state’s notoriously corrupt political class may wish upon a constellation, but wishing won’t make the cited precedent relevant.

As Jacob Huebert, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, argued in a recent op-ed, “term limits are exactly the type of provision the Constitution’s framers thought citizens should be allowed to propose and vote on.” He added, “This isn’t just a common-sense reading of what the Illinois Constitution says; it’s also what its framers said explicitly when they included this provision.”

The stated aim of republican constitutions in America has never been to protect incumbents from effective citizen oversight and control.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. JFB says:

    Paul, although you are correct I principle, the reality is the each election in in itself a term limit.
    Although the episode you relate is a disgusting but predictable reaction of the ruling, royal, statist and elitist governmental class there should really be no need for any term limit if the power of the government is constitutionally limited and the electorate are knowledgeable and engaged.
    The problem is that the system has been bastardized, and the power of the governmental unit to “give” benefits for continued support has taken over.
    It will not be term limits, but financial realities which will eventually restore order, for the ones who made the promises which they cannot fulfill shall be the most reviled. Illinois especially is on a short financial fuse.

  2. Rick says:

    “each election in itself is a term limit”

    Except, the incumbent has huge powers to self-propel his candidacy with a staff of dozens to help him massage the news and keep his name recognition high.


    It’s going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers’ annual financial-disclosure forms.!

    The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journal uncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings.

    “This is such an obvious effort to avoid accountability,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There’s no legitimate reason. There’s no good reason for it.”

  3. Rick says:

    this government is so out of control that it seems like playing whack-a-mole against 1000s of moles.

  4. jay says:

    There was a Congressman, from Ill., for many years, named MIKVA.

    is this judge by some chance his daughter, daughter-in-law; niece ( by birth or marriage) or some other relative?

    if so, her decision makes sense–her family did well without term limits.

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