On November 8, 1994, the voters of Maine enacted a term limits law that arbitrarily limited the democratic right to vote for the candidate of their choice. The law provided that Maine's United States Representatives could not appear on the ballot after six consecutive years of service and that Maine's United States Senators could not appear on the election ballot after twelve consecutive years of service. On May 26, 1995, the United States District Court for the District of Maine found that the law was an unconstitutional violation of the Qualifications Clauses of the United States Constitution and permanently enjoined the Maine Secretary of State and the Maine Attorney General from implementing, carrying out, or enforcing the law. This ruling vindicated a fundamental constitutional principle that neither the United States Congress, the states, nor the people themselves can limit the right of a United States citizen to vote for the candidate of his choice. This Article reviews the Maine Act, traces the history of the Qualifications Clauses, analyzes the important cases that address these provisions, and concludes that the Maine Act was an unconstitutional violation of the Qualifications Clauses and an affront to our nation's fundamental democratic principles. The United States District Court acted appropriately in striking it down.
David A. Soley,
The Invalidation of the Maine Congressional Term Limits Law: A Vindication of Democracy,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol48/iss2/4