Is there an actual law prohibiting a 3rd precedential term by a US President. I wonder because Roosevelt did 4 terms. There was a world war that made an exception prudent. No lack of mitigating circumstances in that case.

I was just wondering what the source of the two term cap is for US Presidents is?

  • 1
    Minus 5 is a bit extreme score for a mere dupe.
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 25, 2022 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


The 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution:

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 President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by 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.

Note that this was passed by Congress and ratified after Roosevelt's Presidency:

Signing Details

Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951

  • I wonder why he felt the need to pass this law.
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 23, 2022 at 13:06
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    @NeilMeyer He didn't. The President is not involved in the US constitution amendment process.
    – Philipp
    Dec 23, 2022 at 13:38
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    @NeilMeyer: Further, FDR was dead before the process that led to this amendment began. The Wikipedia article on the amendment describes what happened clearly. Dec 23, 2022 at 17:04
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    Note that most of the text is devoted to a grandfather clause exempting the incumbent President (Harry S. Truman) from the term limit. Truman actually did run in the 1952 election, but withdrew after losing the New Hampshire primary.
    – dan04
    Dec 23, 2022 at 18:35

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