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Friday, May 20, 2011

On Term Limits & Representation: The Anti-Federalist View

In the New York convention for ratifying the U.S. Constitution, Melancton Smith favored having the state legislatures rotating their U.S. Senators rather than keeping the same men in the Senate for life. "It is a circumstance strongly in favor of rotation, that it will have a tendency to diffuse a more general spirit of emulation, and to bring forward into office the genius and abilities of the continent. If the office is to be perpetually confined to a few, other men of equal talents and virtue, but not possessed of so extensive an influence, may be discouraged from aspiring to it" (Storing, p. 348).  This argument could easily be applied to the people electing U.S. Senators.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.