U. S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 21 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 779 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

116 N. W. 2d 233, 234 (1962). Courts have struck down state-imposed qualifications in the form of term limits, see, e. g., Thorsted v. Gregoire, 841 F. Supp. 1068, 1081 (WD Wash. 1994); Stumpf v. Lau, 108 Nev., at 830, 839 P. 2d, at 123, district residency requirements, see, e. g., Hellmann v. Collier, 217 Md. 93, 100, 141 A. 2d 908, 911 (1958); Dillon v. Fiorina, 340 F. Supp., at 731; Exon v. Tiemann, 279 F. Supp. 609, 613 (Neb. 1968); State ex rel. Chavez v. Evans, 79 N. M. 578, 581, 446 P. 2d 445, 448 (1968) (per curiam), loyalty oath requirements, see, e. g., Shub v. Simpson, 196 Md. 177, 199, 76 A. 2d 332, 341, appeal dism'd, 340 U. S. 881 (1950); In re O'Connor, 173 Misc. 419, 421, 17 N. Y. S. 2d 758, 760 (Super. Ct. 1940), and restrictions on those convicted of felonies, see, e. g., Application of Ferguson, 57 Misc. 2d 1041, 1043, 294 N. Y. S. 2d 174, 176 (Super. Ct. 1968); Danielson v. Fitzsimmons, 232 Minn., at 151, 44 N. W. 2d, at 486; State ex rel. Eaton v. Schmahl, 140 Minn. 219, 220, 167 N. W. 481 (1918) (per curiam). Prior to Powell, the commentators were similarly unanimous. See, e. g., 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries, Appendix 213 (S. Tucker ed. 1803) ("[T]hese provisions, as they require qualifications which the constitution does not, may possibly be found to be nugatory"); 1 Story 627 (each Member of Congress is "an officer of the union, deriving his powers and qualifications from the constitution, and neither created by, dependent upon, nor controllable by, the states"); 1 J. Kent, Commentaries on American Law 228, n. a (3d ed. 1836) ("[T]he objections to the existence of any such power [on the part of the States to add qualifications are] . . . too palpable and weighty to admit of any discussion"); G. Mc-Crary, American Law of Elections 322 (4th ed. 1897) ("It is not competent for any State to add to or in any manner change the qualifications for a Federal office, as prescribed by the Constitution or laws of the United States"); T. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law 268 (2d ed. 1891) ("The Constitution and laws of the United States determine what shall be the qualifications for federal offices, and state

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