Age Caps in Office: Saving Politics from Senility?

The age of officeholders is becoming a hot topic in the 2024 election cycle, and residents of North Dakota are taking action to address it. A proposed amendment to the state constitution is being pushed to set a maximum age of 80 for serving in Congress. Led by Jared Hendrix, a North Dakota Republican political operative, supporters of the amendment are gathering signatures to get it on the ballot.

If the measure is approved, there is an expected legal challenge that could block the maximum age limit. To counter this, the proposed amendment includes “ballot advisory” language, which would inform voters of the age of congressional candidates at the end of their terms. This initiative aims to bring attention to the age of politicians and prompt a discussion about when it is too old to hold public office.

Although it doesn’t directly target any specific North Dakota lawmakers, concerns about age in public office have been raised amid news stories and debates. President Joe Biden, currently the oldest person to hold the presidency, would be 86 at the end of a second term if reelected. A recent poll found that a majority of Democrats believe Biden is too old to be president. Age has also been an issue for Senate members like Dianne Feinstein and Mitch McConnell, who have faced health concerns and questions about their ability to continue serving effectively.

These examples highlight a broader conversation about age in politics and the potential impact it can have on leadership. The proposed amendment in North Dakota is a significant step in addressing these concerns and ensuring that voters have the information they need to make informed decisions.

Written by Staff Reports

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