Tennessee’s state representative Tandy Darby (district 76) was honored with a plaque for his support of term limits on Congress U.S. Term Limits (USTL), the nation’s oldest and largest pro-term limits group, presented the distinction to Darby at the Tennessee capitol earlier this week.
Aaron Dukette of USTL gave the representative the “Champion of Term Limits” wood plaque which reads, “In recognition of a steadfast commitment to restore citizen government through term limits.” Darby has pledged to support house joint resolution 8 (HJR8) which successfully passed through the lower chamber earlier this month. The convention bill does not set the specific length of term limits, rather, it simply starts a discussion among the states on what the ideal term limits of Congress members should be.
Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, the states have more power to amend the Constitution than the Congress does. In this situation, Congress would have a conflict of interest to propose term limits on itself. Recognizing this, the founders assured the states could both propose and ratify amendments without the approval of Congress. HJR8 leverages this power so the states may act in the best interest of the people.
Sponsored by Tennessee House representative, Chris Todd, the measure’s summary reads, “House Joint Resolution 8 applies to the United States Congress for a Convention of the States to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to impose term limits on members of Congress.”
HJR8 must be approved by the state senate in order for Tennessee to be counted in the states calling for a term limits convention.
Darby is in good company in his commitment. More than 25 state representatives have pledged to support HJR8 with many more indicating they will vote to approve it. These representatives know that their constituents want term limits on Congress. According to a 2020 poll of voters in the state conducted by RMG Research, term limits enjoy wide bipartisan support. In Tennessee 77% of Republicans, 90% of Democrats, and 71% of independents strongly approve of placing term limits on members of Congress.
In addition, there are four members of Congress from the Tennessee delegation, including Senator Hagerty, who have signed USTL’s term limits pledge.
Once the amendment is proposed by either Congress or the states at a national convention, it must be ratified by 38 states in order to become part of the U.S. Constitution.