THE HOUSE UNDER TERM LIMITS - WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE

Citation
Wr. Reed et De. Schansberg, THE HOUSE UNDER TERM LIMITS - WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE, Social science quarterly, 76(4), 1995, pp. 699-716
Citations number
20
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Social, Sciences, Interdisciplinary
Journal title
ISSN journal
0038-4941
Volume
76
Issue
4
Year of publication
1995
Pages
699 - 716
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(1995)76:4<699:THUTL->2.0.ZU;2-Y
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to identify and contrast the consequences of imposing a three- or six-term restriction on service in the U.S. H ouse of Representatives. Methods. Past trends of congressional continu ation behavior are projected into the future as a benchmark of congres sional behavior in the absence of term limits. Then both three- and si x-term limit regimes are imposed, to compare what the House would look like under these alternatives. Results. It is forecast that a three-t erm limit would radically shorten the average length of stay of repres entatives from 13.2 years to 3.8 years. A six-term limit would have th e more modest effect of reducing average service in the House to 6.1 y ears. Another important difference is that a three-term limit would cr eate enormous ''superclasses'' that would enter the House in six-year cycles. This phenomenon would be greatly ameliorated under a six-term limit. Finally, it is estimated that three- and six-term limits would have similar, and relatively modest, effects on Republican and minorit y representation. Conclusions. This paper provides objective measures of some of the consequences of imposing term limits. These results may prove useful in informing evaluations concerning the desirability of term limits.