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TheGrandRascal

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  1. As in, "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised." RRONR is a perfectly standard abbreviation used here. RRONR-11 refers to the 11th edition.
  2. "Absentees who are present"...?!? Yeek! Dude! Go look up the word absentee in a dictionary! Good gravy Marie, that's a far worse error than any typo!
  3. THE TRAP IN RRONR-11's SAMPLE BYLAWS: Robert's Sample Bylaws contain a Trap! Article V, Section 1, states that "The regular meetings of the Society shall be held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to May inclusive, unless otherwise ordered by the Society" -- that is, the Society has the power to change the date of an individual regular meeting at need. (And, BTW, kudos to them for adding the word "inclusive"!) This is perfectly fine. BUT, the Trap comes in Section 2: "The regular meeting on the second Tuesday in April shall be known as the annual meeting, and shall..." Take note! By specifying an exact day ("second Tuesday in April"), this provision unwittingly removes the Society's power to alter the meeting date in the particular case of the annual meeting, because this provision requires that the annual meeting must be held on the second Tuesday in April! This has long been a pet peeve of mine! Excising a mere four words corrects this: "I hereby move to amend Article V, Section 2 of the Sample Bylaws, by striking out the words 'on the second Tuesday.' " That leaves us with, "The regular meeting in April shall be known as the annual meeting, and shall...," ...Which is perfectly fine, because the term "regular meeting" is already defined in Section 1. Better still, by not specifying any specific day for that "regular meeting," this wording preserves the Society's power, at need, to change the date even of the annual meeting. And, by the way -- it's much better to use "must" or "will," rather than "shall." --TheGrandRascal
  4. Actually, there very much are combination "standing/special" committees. I call them "recurring committees." Just like standing committees, they are usually provided for in the bylaws, and have official names -- but, unlike standing committees, they are usually needed only periodically, or on exceptional occasions, or at certain times. Typical examples within ordinary societies include: trial committee, auditing committee, nominating committee, or election committee. As you can see if you stop to ponder these examples, these are all committees that many organizations have a periodic -- but not necessarily a continuous -- need for. Hence my term, "recurring committee" -- a committee with aspects of both the standing, and the special, committee. It's a type of committee that I've never seen any Parliamentary authority (Robert's or otherwise) take any cognizance of.
  5. My understanding is that, no, the rule may not be suspended. That being said, there is a vast difference between suspending a rule, and superceding it. Adopting a special rule of order is the way to go here: any adopted special rule of order overrides the adopted Parliamentary authority. However, I don't see that you've stopped to consider why unfinished business falls to the ground when an assembly with members with defined terms of membership has some or all of its member's terms expire. My opinion? It's because otherwise it would force the new, incoming members -- who haven't yet debated, researched, or otherwise considered, the pending unfinished business (and who perhaps, for that matter, haven't yet even heard of them!) -- to go up against the other members, who presumably have had plenty of time to debate, research, and consider them. In other words, without this rule, the incoming members would be on an unequal footing with the incumbents. By forcing the unfinished business to fall to the ground, the rule forces those unfinished issues to be taken up de novo -- that is, "as if new," or right from the beginning, all over again. That way, everyone gets an equal crack at them.
  6. Tomm, If the House passes the stimulus package by voice vote... well, the stimulus package passes (assuming a quorum was preasent). There is no requirement, either in the Constitution or in the law, that all votes of the House must be by "yeas and nays" (which appears to be what you are assuming to be true). By Constitutional provision, one-third of the members have the power to order a recorded vote...but they don't have to. And in this case, they apparently didn't.
  7. This is what I understand the motion to "Lay On The Table" to have been in it's original form: The assembly's agenda basically consisted of a huge stack of (proposed) motions and resolutions lying on the Clerk's table; as each previous item of business was completed, the Clerk would take the topmost item from that stack and read it to the assembly. If it was voted to "Lay The Question On The Table," the Clerk would lift up that massive stack of papers, and place the (formerly) pending matter -- the paper he was just reading -- immediately below th at stack -- literally, "on the table" -- then deposit the stack of resolutions -- ker-PLOP! on top of it. Thus that piece of business went from pending to the bottom of the stack (i.e., the very end of the agenda)... wherefrom, in due time, it would eventually recur. Am I correct in thinking that a motion that a pending matter "be now moved to the foot of the agenda" woud be a midern-day equivalent of the original motion to "Lay On The Table" in modern dress?* ----- * It is cannot be an exact equivalent, alas, because the "modern" form must be adopted by a two-thirds vote, both because it deals with the priority of business, and also because it is a variation of the motion to "Suspend The Rules." --TheGrandRascal Wed., 01-Apr-2020 at 06:10am EDT (-0400 GMT).
  8. Ahem: that depends on the type of decison! A "decision" to take a 2-hour recess isn't going to have much effect outside the legislature; but a "decision" to raise the sales tax rate would have a most serious impact outside the legislature, indeed! But then, when the body is a legislature, the latter type of motion is called an "Act," (which makes a difference!) whereas the former is not.
  9. Alack and alas! As much as I'd love to accept your answer, I cannot, because there is a counteranswer. My reply must be that a rule or resolution has only such force or binding power outside the organization which adopts it, as the outside organization chooses to grant it. In the concrete, this means (for example) that if the United States Congress, by international treaty or otherwise, has granted to the IAU the power or authority to make decisions or determinations in matters astronomical, then any such determination must be held to have the force of law within the United States of America! I guess the real question that must be asked (but which, alas! is not a parliamentary question, but merely one of fact) is whether the decisions of the IAU in fact have this status or not. How to go about ascertaining the answer to this question is more than I would know!
  10. If an organization adopts a resolution -- howsoever important -- and assuming it is adopted validly, just how far (and under what circumstances) is that resolution valid or applicable outside of its own organization or membership? (Be careful here, boys -- the organization I'm specifically thinking of is the IAU, and if that doesn't freeze you dead in your tracks, it certainly should, because although the furor over Pluto has reduced considerably, it most certainly has NOT died completely! I think Pluto is a planet!)
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