OCTOBER TERM, 2000
certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the eighth circuit
No. 99-929. Argued November 6, 2000—Decided February 28, 2001
In U. S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U. S. 779, the Court held that an Arkansas law prohibiting otherwise eligible congressional candidates from appearing on the general election ballot if they had already served two Senate terms or three House terms was an impermissible attempt to add qualifications to congressional office rather than a permissible exercise of the State's Elections Clause power to regulate the "Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives," U. S. Const., Art. I, § 4, cl. 1. In response, Missouri voters adopted an amendment to Article VIII of their State Constitution designed to bring about a specified "Congressional Term Limits Amendment" to the Federal Constitution. Among other things, Article VIII "instruct[s]" Missouri Congress Members to use all their powers to pass the federal amendment; prescribes that "DISREGARDED VOTERS' INSTRUCTION ON TERM LIMITS" be printed on ballots by the names of Members failing to take certain legislative acts in support of the proposed amendment; provides that "DECLINED TO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TERM LIMITS" be printed by the names of nonincumbent candidates refusing to take a "Term Limit" pledge to perform those acts if elected; and directs the Missouri Secretary of State (Secretary), the petitioner here, to determine and declare whether either statement should be printed by candidates' names. Respondent Gralike, a non-incumbent House candidate, sued to enjoin petitioner from implementing Article VIII on the ground it violated the Federal Constitution. The District Court granted Gralike summary judgment, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed.
Held: Article VIII is unconstitutional. Pp. 518-527.
(a) Because petitioner's arguments that Article VIII is an exercise of the people's right to instruct their representatives reserved by the Tenth Amendment, as well as a permissible regulation of the "manner" of electing federal legislators under the Elections Clause, rely on different sources of state power, the Court reviews the distinction in kind between reserved state powers and those delegated to the States by the Constitution. The Constitution draws a basic distinction between the powers of the newly created Federal Government and the powers retained by the pre-existing sovereign States. U. S. Term Limits, 514Page: Index 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next
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