Part of a symposium: The Supreme Court and Local Government Law 1994-95 Term

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In U.S. Term Limits, the Court reviewed an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution, adopted in 1992, that made a candidate for the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives ineligible to have his or her name placed on the ballot for national election if that person had previously been elected to three or more terms as a member of the House, or two or more terms as a member of the Senate. Following a taxpayer's complaint seeking declaratory relief, the state circuit court held that this amendment violated the Qualifications Clauses in Article I, sections 2 and 3, of the U.S. Constitution. The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed, in a five to two decision, with a plurality declaring that states have no authority to change, add, or diminish the requirements for congressional service enumerated in the Qualifications Clauses. Such piecemeal restrictions by states, explained the plurality, would conflict with the interest of the drafters of the Constitution in qualification uniformity, since congressional representatives address national issues that affect the citizens of every state.