This meme’s been popping up a lot on Facebook recently:
This meme is easily refuted by the text of the 22nd Amendment which limits the President to two terms. The relevant portion:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.Amendment 22, Section 1
Note there is no mention of impeachment making any difference. The rest of the amendment is concerned with when the amendment goes into effect and exempting President Truman, who was in office at the time this amendment was passed.
The meme may have been inspired by an idea by constitutional scholar William Mattox that an impeached but not convicted President should get a third term. This is not the same thing as stating a president does.
Professor Glenn Reynolds pointed out that this could create perverse incentives. He cites a House controlled by the President’s party to push through phony articles (maybe impeaching him for being a nice guy) to give him a third term.
I see another perverse incentive in that both modern Presidents to be impeached brought it on themselves. Most people will agree what Bill Clinton and Donald Trump did was wrong, but many will insist that impeachment was too severe a response. Under the system proposed by Mattox, a President who behaves ethically can run for two terms. A President who misbehaves and gets impeached can run for three if his party saves him from being actually removed.
At any rate, Mattox’s proposed idea isn’t currently the law and this meme is disrespectful nonsense.
Remember, don’t believe every meme you see. Research them before you share, and think for yourself.