U.S. Term Limits
U.S. Term Limits (USTL) is a non-profit organization that lobbies for term limits for elected officials at every level of government in the United States. Among other activities, USTL supports ballot initiatives in numerous states. The organization was established in 1992, and is one of several led by New York libertarian Howard Rich. One of the founding board members of the organization was Eric O'Keefe, author of the book Who Rules America.
In the early 1990s, USTL organized political campaigns that placed term limits on the congressional delegations of 23 states. But on May 22, 1995, those state-imposed congressional term limits, encompassing nearly half the U.S. Congress, were struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton. Today, 15 state legislatures, 36 governors and thousands of local officials, including those in nine of the country's ten largest cities, are under term limits.
Paul Jacob, a citizen initiative activist who served in several capacities with USTL from 1992 to 2007, was indicted on October 2, 2007 for conspiracy to defraud the state of Oklahoma regarding the use of out-of-state paid petitioners. USTL publicly announced its support for Jacob soon after. On December 18, 2008 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the underlying Oklahoma law that barred out of state petition circulators, noting that it was in violation of the First Amendment . Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson appealed the decision on behalf of Secretary of State Susan Savage. On January 21, 2009 the Tenth Circuit court denied the state's appeal, effectively ending the case. The Attorney General's office dismissed the charges against Jacob and the other defendants, with Edmondson saying "The statute under which these defendants were charged has been declared unconstitutional, and the appellate process is complete...The statute is no longer enforceable." on January 22, 2009.
- O'Keefe, Eric, Who Rules America: The People Versus the Political Class, Citizen Government Foundation, 1999.
- Price, Marie (October 3, 2007). "Grand jury indicts three TABOR petition organizers". The Journal Record.
- U.S. Term Limits homepage
- "10th Circuit Court Overturns Okla. Residency Restrictions", City Sentinel, December 23, 2008
- , "Statement from Tenth Circuit Court"]
- , Daily Oklahoman, January 22, 2009
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