In U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, the Supreme Court struck down an amendment to the Arkansas State Constitution prohibiting Congressional candidates from appearing on the ballot if the candidate had already served three terms in the House of Representatives. The majority reasoned that such a restriction violated the "fundamental principle of our representative democracy" in the Constitution, because it involved a state imposing limitations on a representative body that represented the people of the nation. In the dissent Thomas wrote:
It is ironic that the Court bases today's decision on the right of the people to "choose whom they please to govern them." Under our Constitution, there is only one State whose people have the right to "choose whom they please" to represent Arkansas in Congress.
Nothing in the Constitution deprives the people of each State of the power to prescribe eligibility requirements for the candidates who seek to represent them in Congress. The Constitution is simply silent on this question. And where the Constitution is silent, it raises no bar to action by the States or the people...
...The ultimate source of the Constitution's authority is the consent of the people of each individual state, not the consent of the undifferentiated people of the nation as a whole.