A national group focused on enacting congressional term limits has launched a Utah chapter.
Justin Anderson is the new state director of U.S. Term Limits, a D.C.-based nonprofit working to impose term restrictions on members of Congress.
Anderson says Utah is a natural fit for the group, which has been active in states across the country working on term limit legislation.
“It’s the perfect timing for Utah, especially with Sen. [Orrin] Hatch who’s been in office for 40 years now, and has expressed interest in running for an additional six-year term," he says.
The two most viable paths to enact term limits are either for Congress to impose them on themselves — an unlikely scenario — or for 34 state legislatures to come together and approve a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Anderson says their organization is working to get state legislatures like Utah to pass a resolution to agree to an Article V Convention.
He says in most polls, voters consistently support the issue.
"Congress has a re-election rate above 90 percent, while their approval rating, at best, is 20 percent," he says. "And so there’s this major disconnect with those statistics as well as that 3 in 4 Americans support term limits.”
Anderson is the current vice-chair of the Utah County Democratic Party, though he points out that the U.S. Term Limits organization is nonpartisan.
He says part of his work besides lobbying will be to conduct an education tour in cities and college campuses across the state to build support for their movement.