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In a 5-4 vote, theSupreme Court ruled that states can't place limits on the length of time members of congress can serve. The ruling strikes down an Arkansas term-limit law and similar measures passed by 21 other states. It is likely to slow the populist rush for such limits, at least for a while. Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said that the Constitution prohibits states from imposing qualifications upon candidates beyond minimum age, residency and citizenship --the ones explicitly stated in its text. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the Constitution is simply silent on the issue. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said today's decision demonstrated the need for aconstitutional amendment to limit congressional terms. Such an amendment failed in the House earlier this year, but Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) pledged to bring a Senate version to the floor "at the earliest possible date."