Republican Rep. John James of Michigan and former President Donald Trump.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; James Devaney/GC Images
Rep. John James wants to bar anyone over the age of 75 from serving in Congress or the White House.
But James has endorsed Trump, who’s currently 77, despite once saying he’s “not fit to lead.”
Imposing an age limit would require amending the US Constitution, a long and difficult process.
Republican Rep. John James of Michigan is proposing an amendment to the US Constitution that would effectively bar anyone over 75 from serving in Congress or as President of the United States.
The resolution, introduced on Tuesday of this week, would need to garner a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate to kick off the amendment process.
“No person may be elected to a term as President, Vice President, Senator, or Representatives in Congress if at any time during the term the person will be 75 years of age or older,” reads the resolution, which includes a provision clarifying that the limit wouldn’t affect any politician whose term had already begun when it takes effect.
However, there are two key wrinkles in James’ effort.
The first is that it’s exceedingly difficult to amend the Constitution, requiring not just supermajorities in both chambers of Congress but ratification of the amendment by 38 state legislatures. And despite the proposal’s popularity with the public, particularly as aging lawmakers suffer increasingly-public lapses in cognitive ability and health, there’s plenty of opposition to the idea, particularly among lawmakers.
The second is that James has endorsed former President Donald Trump — who is currently 77 years old and would be 82 by the end of a second term — for president in 2024.
James’ endorsement of Trump was already eyebrow-raising: he made the endorsement in July, despite saying just months earlier that Trump had disqualified himself for office by calling for the termination of the US Constitution.
“A man who would suspend the Constitution can’t be trusted,” James said in December 2022, according to local Michigan news outlet WLNS. “Anyone who will put their egos over people is not fit to lead.”
Ask by Fox News about how the age limits proposal would pertain to Trump, James reportedly dodged the question, pointing out that the proposal would take years to enact.
James was more forthright, however, when it came to other politicians, including President Joe Biden, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
“You can’t watch a video of Feinstein or McConnell or Biden and tell me that everything’s OK,” James told Fox News. “It’s not just us saying it, it’s our adversary seeing it, they see that America has lost a step.”