North Dakota Congressional Age Limits Amendment Approved for June 11th Primary Vote

March 19, 2024

Fargo, ND – Today, Retire Congress North Dakota announced that its proposed amendment to the North Dakota state Constitution that would prohibit anyone from North Dakota over aged 80 from serving in Congress will be on the June 11th primary ballot.  The proposed amendment, if passed, would not impact any current North Dakota congressional office holders eligible for reelection in 2024.  Retire Congress North Dakota submitted 42,107 signatures from North Dakotans who believe this critically important issue must be addressed. After review the Secretary of State confirmed they had exceeded the required 31,164 signatures needed to qualify the amendment for the ballot.

Without congressional term limits in our federal constitution preventing members from serving indefinitely, many in Congress hold their positions for life.  Many Americans favor age limits for Congress if congressional term limits are not implemented, especially with many in Congress aged 80 or older.

“Serving in Congress has become a lifelong occupation for many members,” said Jared Hendrix, Chair of Retire Congress North Dakota. “Sadly, Congress has gone from the world’s greatest deliberative body to one of the nation’s best assisted living facilities.  Retire Congress North Dakota recognizes basic truths. With age comes health and cognitive decline, which invariably lead to absences and policy concerns. Some have served even though their cognizance has been called into question. We love our seniors and value their wisdom, but there’s a time to go home, be with your grandchildren and live under the laws you’ve passed.”

“Congress has refused to act. Now in North Dakota we are prepared to do something about it and set age limits for Congress,” continued Hendrix. “With the overwhelming response in signatures to get this amendment on the ballot, I have no doubt it will easily pass in June. Once it is passed, other states will follow North Dakota’s lead in setting age limits. “Even limiting the age at 80 is far above the retirement age in the military and many private corporations,” concluded Hendrix. “The average age of retirement in America is 64. Everybody else retires, I don’t see why politicians should be different. You can’t run for Senate until you’re 30, or Congress until you’re 25. So we already have age limits on the lower end, just not the upper end.”

The proposed amendment sets a maximum of 80 years and states no person may be elected or appointed to serve a term or a portion of a term in the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives if that person could attain 81 years of age by December 31st of the year immediately preceding the end of the term.  Once approved by voters, age limits on congressional candidates would be effective Jan. 1, 2025.