Against Recall Elections

Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, speaks to supporters of the recall campaign of California governor Gavin Newsom during a rally and information session in Carlsbad, Calif., June 30, 2021. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
They weren’t part of the Founders’ vision, and in many ways, they undermine it.


alifornia is enduring a recall election right now, and that’s unfortunate — not because Gavin Newsom is a good governor, but because recalls are a bad idea.

As a general rule, if a political institution were a good idea, James Madison would have thought of it. And the idea of recalling elected officials before their terms are over was floating around in Madison’s time, but it didn’t make it into the Constitution.

Article V of the Articles of Confederation decreed that, “Delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct, to meet in Congress . …

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