Elon Musk Proposes ‘Age Limit’ for Elected Officials

Elon Musk Proposes 'Age Limit' for Elected Officials president joe biden bows his head in the foreground shadows President Joe Biden (Raphael Lafargue/AP)

By Luca Cacciatore | Monday, 06 December 2021 05:24 PM

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said there should be an "age limit" in candidates who run for political office.

"Let's set an age limit after which you can't run for political office, perhaps a number just below 70," Musk posted on Twitter.

Just last month, the billionaire responded to independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' wealth-tax proposal, saying he kept forgetting Sanders was "still alive." Sanders is 80, far above the proposed age limit by Musk.

Other politicians that would be affected by Musk's proposal are veteran Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who turned 88 in June, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, 88. President Biden, 78, was the oldest president to take office, and former President Trump is now 75.

The average age of senators at the beginning of this year was 64.3 years old, and the average age for members of the House was 58.4 years old, the Congressional Research Service reported.

There are currently no upper limits for serving in the U.S. Congress. However, constitutionally House members must be at least 25 when they take office, and Senators must be at least 30. Additionally, a minimum age requirement of 35 years is set for presidential candidates.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote about implementing age limits in a 1983 memo as an assistant to White House counsel under President Ronald Reagan, according to the USA Today.

"Setting a term of, say, 15 years would ensure that federal judges would not lose all touch with reality through decades of ivory tower existence," Roberts wrote. "It would also provide a more regular and greater degree of turnover among the judges."

Josh Barro, a senior editor at Business Insider, proposed similar actions after the death of 10-year, and before that, 19-year New Jersey incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg in June 2013.

"We should have an expectation about Congress," Barro wrote in The New York Times, "that people will retire when they are no longer up to the demands. One way to achieve this would be through formal rules. Senators in Canada must retire at the age of 75, and many state court systems also have mandatory retirement ages."

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