Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Amendment XXII (the Twenty-second Amendment) of the United States Constitution limits the President to two terms of office. It was ratified on February 27, 1951 and states:

Section 1.

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. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.


This amendment, while limiting a President to two elected terms, theoretically does allow a President to serve up to ten years in office. If a Vice President takes over the office of President and serves less than two years as President, he may still be re-elected twice and serve eight more years in office.

This amendment was added after Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first president to serve more than two terms; he ultimately was elected to office four times and died in his fourth term. Many felt this was in violation of a two term only ideal promoted by the first President, George Washington, and widely respected ever since. The amendment codified the previously held tradition.

21st Amendment Amendments
United States Constitution
23rd Amendment