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Jan Brewer's Third-Term Interpretation of Constitution Challenged by Democrat's Bill

Governor Jan Brewer
Governor Jan Brewer

Since Governor Jan Brewer hasn't given up on her interpretation of the Arizona Constitution that two terms really means three terms, Democratic State Senator Steve Gallardo has proposed changing the wording of that section.

There's a big problem with Gallardo's proposal -- since he's proposing a change to the state Constitution, it would have to be put on the ballot for voters to decide. That would happen in 2014, the same year that Brewer is saying she can run for a third term.

See also:
-Jan Brewer May Actually Be Serious About Running for Third Term
-Jan Brewer Again Threatens to Run for a Likely Unconstitutional Third Term
-Governor Jan Brewer's Pretty Sure She Can Run for Third Term

Brewer has threatened several times to run for a likely unconstitutional third term, for more than a year now. Her interpretation is that the law is ambiguous.

The governor seems to think that since she took over for former Governor Janet Napolitano three years into a four-year term, it doesn't count against her -- which doesn't appear to be the case.

Well, here's exactly what the Arizona Constitution says about term limits, in Article 5, Section 1, which was amended as approved by the voters as Proposition 107 in 1992:

"No member of the executive department shall hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. This limitation on the number of terms of consecutive service shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. No member of the executive department after serving the maximum number of terms, which shall include any part of a term served, may serve in the same office until out of office for no less than one full term."

Brewer's camp told us about a year-and-a-half ago that the Constitution defines a term as being four years, but later in the same section mentions parts of terms, which makes the whole thing "unclear."

Still, Gallardo's Senate Concurrent Resolution 1007 would clear that up, making it very, very clear that Brewer's filling of a vacancy definitely qualifies as a term.

The text can be found here.


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