U. S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 8 (1995)

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786

U. S. TERM LIMITS, INC. v. THORNTON

Opinion of the Court

dated in Article 1 provides the tenor and the fabric for representation in the Congress. Piecemeal restrictions by State would fly in the face of that order." Ibid.

Justice Brown's plurality opinion also rejected the argument that Amendment 73 is "merely a ballot access amendment," concluding that "[t]he intent and the effect of Amendment 73 are to disqualify congressional incumbents from further service." Id., at 265-266, 872 S. W. 2d, at 356-357. Justice Brown considered the possibilities that an excluded candidate might run for Congress as a write-in candidate or be appointed to fill a vacancy to be "glimmers of opportunity . . . [that] are faint indeed—so faint in our judgment that they cannot salvage Amendment 73 from constitutional attack." Id., at 266, 872 S. W. 2d, at 357. In separate opinions, Justice Dudley and Justice Gerald P. Brown agreed that Amendment 73 violates the Federal Constitution.

Two justices dissented from the federal constitutional holding. Justice Hays started from "the premise that all political authority resides in the people, limited only by those provisions of the federal or state constitutions specifically to the contrary." Id., at 281, 872 S. W. 2d, at 367. Because his examination of the text and history of the Qualifications Clauses convinced him that the Constitution contains no express or implicit restriction on the States' ability to impose additional qualifications on candidates for Congress, Justice Hays concluded that 3 is constitutional. Special Chief Justice Cracraft, drawing a distinction between a measure that "impose[s] an absolute bar on incumbent succession" and a measure that "merely makes it more difficult for an incumbent to be elected," id., at 284, 872 S. W. 2d, at 368, concluded that Amendment 73 does not even implicate the Qualifications Clauses, and instead is merely a permissible ballot access restriction.

The State of Arkansas, by its Attorney General, and the intervenors petitioned for writs of certiorari. Because of the importance of the issues, we granted both petitions and

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