Despite all the evident tension between Republican and Democratic politicians on just about every issue, they are united on at least one point.

Democratic and Republican politicians alike are staying in office for longer and longer – in some cases well into their 80s and early 90s. While people need to be a certain age before they can be elected to office in the U.S., there is no mandatory retirement age, nor term limits for members of the House and Senate.

A growing number of public incidents involving older politicians raises the question about whether this should change. Senator Mitch McConnell on Wednesday silently froze while speaking with journalists, about one month after a similar scene was captured on camera.

University of Washington bioethicist Nancy Jecker explains why the U.S. has no such limits for politicians – and the ethical issues that imposing one would raise.

“Whatever view one takes on the ethics of age limits for politicians, voting remains the primary way to put one’s views into practice,” Jecker writes.

Amy Lieberman

Politics + Society Editor

Mitch McConnell, Diane Feinstein and Joe Biden are all over 80 years old, joining a number of politicians who are staying in office well past their 70s. Anna Moneymaker/Chip Somodevilla/Samuel Corum/Getty Images

There’s no age limit for politicians − as people live longer, should that change?

Nancy S. Jecker, University of Washington

While there are minimum age requirements for people who want to hold political office in the US, there are no limits on when someone must retire.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference after former President Donald Trump’s Aug. 15 indictment. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

RICO is often used to target the mob and cartels − but Trump and his associates aren’t the first outside those worlds to face charges

Gabriel J. Chin, University of California, Davis

Federal and state RICO charges, which target racketeering, have been applied to a wide range of crimes committed by politicians and business people over the past few decades.

Iraqis raise copies of the Quran during a protest in Baghdad, Iraq, on July 22, 2023, following reports of the burning of the holy book in Copenhagen. AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Quran burning in Sweden prompts debate on the fine line between freedom of expression and incitement of hatred

Armin Langer, University of Florida

Several countries across Europe are introducing new legislation to curb hate speech against religions, even as they get rid of older blasphemy laws.

How individual, ordinary Jews fought Nazi persecution − a new view of history

Wolf Gruner, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Finding the stories of individual Jews who fought the Nazis publicly and at great peril helped a scholar see history differently: that Jews were not passive. Instead, they actively fought the Nazis.

Governors may make good presidents − unless they become ‘imperial governors’ like DeSantis

Raymond Scheppach, University of Virginia

A former executive director of the National Governors Association explains what it is about certain governors that makes them less suited for the presidency.

Judicial orders restricting Trump’s speech seek to balance his own constitutional rights

Lynn Greenky, Syracuse University

Trump has not been silenced. The limits on his speech protect fundamental rights − including his right to a fair trial by an unbiased jury and the public’s right to a working justice system.

Medicare starts a long road to cutting prices for drugs, starting with 10 costing it $50.5 billion annually – a health policy analyst explains why negotiations are promising but will take years

Simon F. Haeder, Texas A&M University

The drug pricing reform may drastically lower prices for some of the most critical life-saving drugs in the long run. But numerous obstacles stand in the way.

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