Origins of the Presidency and Official Duties


How many terms can a president serve?

Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution mandates that the president serve a four-year term. This time period was chosen because the framers agreed that four years was enough time for a president to have learned the ropes, demonstrated his leadership abilities, and established sound policies. The Constitution placed no limit on the number of terms that a president might serve until 1951, with the adoption of the Twenty-second Amendment, which states that “no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.” Congress passed this law after Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president four times.


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