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Adopt, Rescind and Reconsider


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I am going to go with Mr. Gerber on this one. I see no particular reason why the principle should not apply to reconsidering affirmative votes; there are simply far fewer ways in which a later action can conflict with undoing an affirmative one (and, in particular, none that will usually arise within the time limits to Reconsider so the authors behind that sentence may have been attempting to generalize somewhat, but did not generalize enough.

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One point in favor of Shmuel's position would be that it would take a majority to delay the motion to Rescind beyond the point where the motion could be reconsidered.

For example, the motion to Rescind Motion X could be postponed to the next monthly meeting. The motion to Postpone requires at least a majority vote. The majority would be, indirectly, voting down the motion to Reconsider Motion X.

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One point in favor of Shmuel's position would be that it would take a majority to delay the motion to Rescind beyond the point where the motion could be reconsidered.

For example, the motion to Rescind Motion X could be postponed to the next monthly meeting. The motion to Postpone requires at least a majority vote. The majority would be, indirectly, voting down the motion to Reconsider Motion X.

Although it is not proper to take up a motion to reconsider a main motion while a motion to rescind it is pending, I still very much doubt that it is not in order to move to reconsider a main motion while a motion to rescind it is pending, and it seems to me that this delaying tactic argues more against the notion that it is out of order to move to reconsider under such circumstances then it does in favor of it.

If it is out of order to move to reconsider an adopted main motion while a motion to rescind it is pending, then members of the (perhaps temporary) bare majority which voted in favor of the adopted motion may not only move to rescind it simply to prevent any motions to Reconsider (or Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes), they may also then move and adopt a motion postponing their pending motion to rescind to the next session, thus exacerbating the problem caused by such a rule. On the other hand, if a motion to Reconsider (or Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes) is permitted to be made while a motion to Rescind is pending, the bare (and perhaps temporary) majority in favor of the adopted main motion will gain nothing, and can cause less harm, by postponing consideration of their motion to rescind, since all action required by the vote which adopted the main motion will be suspended anyway.

Edited by Daniel H. Honemann
Reversed upon reconsideration :) SEE POST # 51
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Although it is not proper to take up a motion to reconsider a main motion while a motion to rescind it is pending, I still very much doubt that it is not in order to move to reconsider a main motion while a motion to rescind it is pending, and it seems to me that this delaying tactic argues more against the notion that it is out of order to move to reconsider under such circumstances then it does in favor of it.

Well, assuming that it is made, would the pending motion to Rescind out of order. If Rescind is adopted, would Reconsider simply be dropped? That would probably cover your legitimate worries about suspending actions.

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Well, assuming that it is made, would the pending motion to Rescind out of order. If Rescind is adopted, would Reconsider simply be dropped? That would probably cover your legitimate worries about suspending actions.

I do not think that the making of a motion to Reconsider would make a pending motion to Rescind become out of order.

I think that if the pending motion to Rescind is adopted, the motion to Reconsider will, most likely, simply become moot.

I have no idea what you mean by your reference here to my "legitimate worries about suspending actions." As I noted, I think it is important that a motion to Reconsider, or a motion to Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes, be permitted to be made while a motion to Rescind is pending because they have this suspending effect.

However, please understand that these are my views at the present time. They are not necessarily the views of any one or more of my colleagues, who may well convince me that I have got this all mixed up. :)

Edited by Daniel H. Honemann
Partly reversed upon reconsideration. :) SEE POST #51
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On the other hand, if a motion to Reconsider (or Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes) is permitted to be made while a motion to Rescind is pending, the bare (and perhaps temporary) majority in favor of the adopted main motion will gain nothing, and can cause less harm, by postponing consideration of their motion to rescind, since all action required by the vote which adopted the main motion will be suspended anyway.

The bare majority will not only gain nothing, but won't they have handed those who now want to rescind the motion a gift, if I'm understanding your response?

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The bare majority will not only gain nothing, but won't they have handed those who now want to rescind the motion a gift, if I'm understanding your response?

I think that perhaps I had better let you tell me what you mean by this. :)

Sure :)

J.J.'s facts state: "Later in the meeting, more members show up, a majority of the entire membership. All the recently arrived members all opposed the adopted motion. None of the members that voted in the affirmative will move to reconsider. One of the recently arrived members moves to rescind."

The maker of the motion to rescind and his allies need a 2/3 vote or a vote of a majority of the entire membership to rescind. There's no guarantee they have a strong enough contingent to meet either threshold even though all of the recently arrived members oppose the adopted motion.

While the motion to rescind is pending, out of the clear blue, a member of the prevailing side of the original vote decides to now move to reconsider the vote on the adopted motion (J.J. says no one was willing to do that before, which is why the motion to rescind was made).

The maker of the motion to rescind and his allies (presumably a very strong majority since they were going to roll the dice on rescinding) can, now that a member has moved to reconsider the vote, achieve their goals by a majority vote. They very likely have enough votes to withdraw the motion to rescind, support reconsideration, and defeat the original motion once it's before the assembly again, all by majority vote. That of course assumes there is time to get to all of that.

It just seems to me that the member who made the motion to reconsider has given the new arrivals a way to accomplish their goals without the higher vote requirement - or he handed them a gift.

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Sure :)

J.J.'s facts state: "Later in the meeting, more members show up, a majority of the entire membership. All the recently arrived members all opposed the adopted motion. None of the members that voted in the affirmative will move to reconsider. One of the recently arrived members moves to rescind."

The maker of the motion to rescind and his allies need a 2/3 vote or a vote of a majority of the entire membership to rescind. There's no guarantee they have a strong enough contingent to meet either threshold even though all of the recently arrived members oppose the adopted motion.

While the motion to rescind is pending, out of the clear blue, a member of the prevailing side of the original vote decides to now move to reconsider the vote on the adopted motion (J.J. says no one was willing to do that before, which is why the motion to rescind was made).

The maker of the motion to rescind and his allies (presumably a very strong majority since they were going to roll the dice on rescinding) can, now that a member has moved to reconsider the vote, achieve their goals by a majority vote. They very likely have enough votes to withdraw the motion to rescind, support reconsideration, and defeat the original motion once it's before the assembly again, all by majority vote. That of course assumes there is time to get to all of that.

It just seems to me that the member who made the motion to reconsider has given the new arrivals a way to accomplish their goals without the higher vote requirement - or he handed them a gift.

I see - you are returning to the original facts.

In post #29, I modified the facts substantially in an effort to demonstrate why I think it should be in order to make a motion to reconsider the vote by which a main motion was adopted when a motion to rescind it is pending.

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I think at this point, I would rule the make of the motion to reconsider in order, but would not rule the motion to rescind out of order. If there was any part of Motion X remaining after that, I would permit reconsideration.

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I see - you are returning to the original facts.

In post #29, I modified the facts substantially in an effort to demonstrate why I think it should be in order to make a motion to reconsider the vote by which a main motion was adopted when a motion to rescind it is pending.

Do you feel differently sticking with J.J.'s facts?

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In post #16, Shmuel asks "Is it in order to reconsider the vote on a motion that has already been rescinded?", and in post #17, I much too hastily respond by saying that it is obviously not in order to do so. I suppose my initial reaction was that a motion to reconsider made under such circumstances would certainly be dilatory. Now I'm not so sure. I think there may well be circumstances under which it would not be dilatory. As a consequence, I am now amending my response to one of "yes, provided it is not dilatory." :)

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In post #16, Shmuel asks "Is it in order to reconsider the vote on a motion that has already been rescinded?", and in post #17, I much too hastily respond by saying that it is obviously not in order to do so. I suppose my initial reaction was that a motion to reconsider made under such circumstances would certainly be dilatory. Now I'm not so sure. I think there may well be circumstances under which it would not be dilatory. As a consequence, I am now amending my response to one of "yes, provided it is not dilatory." :)

If I can ask a few of followups -

1) Using J.J.'s facts, if we simply add the fact the motion to rescind is adopted, what if they (those who voted to rescind) simply claim the motion to reconsider the vote on the original question is skirting the rule that an affirmative vote on the motion to rescind cannot be reconsidered?

2) What action, if any, is suspended by moving to reconsider the vote on the original question?

3) If the motion to reconsider the vote on the original question is permitted, but the motion to reconsider cannot be taken up before adjournment for whatever reason, will it simply go away since the rescinded motion can be renewed at the next session?

4) Did you have a set of facts in mind when you say there may well be circumstances under which it would not be dilatory? Could you share a case where you think it would not be (unless it's J.J.'s scenario)?

Sorry for all of the questions but this topic is interesting and a wonderful learning experience :)

Thanks for helping us understand this better.

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If I can ask a few of followups -

1) Using J.J.'s facts, if we simply add the fact the motion to rescind is adopted, what if they (those who voted to rescind) simply claim the motion to reconsider the vote on the original question is skirting the rule that an affirmative vote on the motion to rescind cannot be reconsidered?

2) What action, if any, is suspended by moving to reconsider the vote on the original question?

3) If the motion to reconsider the vote on the original question is permitted, but the motion to reconsider cannot be taken up before adjournment for whatever reason, will it simply go away since the rescinded motion can be renewed at the next session?

4) Did you have a set of facts in mind when you say there may well be circumstances under which it would not be dilatory? Could you share a case where you think it would not be (unless it's J.J.'s scenario)?

Sorry for all of the questions but this topic is interesting and a wonderful learning experience :)

Thanks for helping us understand this better.

George, I'll be happy to respond in due course. However, I am aware of the fact that at least one, and probably more, of my colleagues do not agree with me on this, and since, as I indicated previously, they may well convince me that I have got this all mixed up, it behooves me to listen to them very carefully before I respond any further.

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George, I'll be happy to respond in due course. However, I am aware of the fact that at least one, and probably more, of my colleagues do not agree with me on this, and since, as I indicated previously, they may well convince me that I have got this all mixed up, it behooves me to listen to them very carefully before I respond any further.

Perfectly fine, I'm in no hurry. :)

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In post #16, Shmuel asks "Is it in order to reconsider the vote on a motion that has already been rescinded?", and in post #17, I much too hastily respond by saying that it is obviously not in order to do so. I suppose my initial reaction was that a motion to reconsider made under such circumstances would certainly be dilatory. Now I'm not so sure. I think there may well be circumstances under which it would not be dilatory. As a consequence, I am now amending my response to one of "yes, provided it is not dilatory." :)

It might be well to draw a distinction between making a motion to Reconsider (or Reconsider and Enter) and considering Reconsider (or Reconsider and Enter).

I think that it would be out of order to Reconsider the affirmative note on a main motion, Motion X, after Motion X has been rescinded, because it is possible renew Motion X (p. 318, l, 18), or at least a new, but identically worded, version of Motion X.

Making a motion to reconsider the vote on a main motion that is subject to Rescind, but has not yet been rescinded, would be in order. Such a motion has not "already been rescinded."

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I think that it would be out of order to Reconsider the affirmative note on a main motion, Motion X, after Motion X has been rescinded, because it is possible renew Motion X (p. 318, l, 18), or at least a new, but identically worded, version of Motion X.

But since we are talking about doing all of this during the same session, I don't believe that this is correct.

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But since we are talking about doing all of this during the same session, I don't believe that this is correct.

Dan, if the assembly would chose to adopt Motion X and then rescind it, in the same session, that would, in my view, make Motion X (Mark II) a different question (p. 338, ll. 5-9). I would seriously doubt the assembly would do that, however.

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Is it in order to move the adoption of a standing rule of some sort (adoptable by majority vote) during the same meeting at which an identical rule has just been rescinded?

I think that the majority could easily find that to be a new question within the meaning of p. 338, ll. 5-9. Certainly, when the rule was rescinded, it was in effect. Since repeal, it is no longer in effect. That would constitute a change of circumstances. If the majority (possibly through Appeal) feel that this change of circumstances is "sufficient to present substantially a new question," it is. I think that, in all cases, the decision on if the circumstances are "sufficient" to make this "substantially a new question," is a judgment call of the majority, and that any ruling of the chair is subject to appeal.

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I think that the majority could easily find that to be a new question within the meaning of p. 338, ll. 5-9. Certainly, when the rule was rescinded, it was in effect. Since repeal, it is no longer in effect. That would constitute a change of circumstances. If the majority (possibly through Appeal) feel that this change of circumstances is "sufficient to present substantially a new question," it is. I think that, in all cases, the decision on if the circumstances are "sufficient" to make this "substantially a new question," is a judgment call of the majority, and that any ruling of the chair is subject to appeal.

You are referring here to rules relating to renewal of motions which have been made and disposed of without being adopted. We are dealing here with a motion that has been adopted and subsequently rescinded.

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You are referring here to rules relating to renewal of motions which have been made and disposed of without being adopted. We are dealing here with a motion that has been adopted and subsequently rescinded.

And I think the principle is the same; p. 338 ll. 5-9, does not actually say that this would apply only to defeated main motions. We have a motion that has been adopted (since you have changed the scenario, possibly at a different meeting), was in force, and now is no longer in force. Certainly there has been a change in circumstances within the meeting. I believe that the majority can determine if the motion is "substantially" different from the one rescinded.

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Is it in order to move the adoption of a standing rule of some sort (adoptable by majority vote) during the same meeting at which an identical rule has just been rescinded?

I think that the majority could easily find that to be a new question within the meaning of p. 338, ll. 5-9. Certainly, when the rule was rescinded, it was in effect. Since repeal, it is no longer in effect. That would constitute a change of circumstances. If the majority (possibly through Appeal) feel that this change of circumstances is "sufficient to present substantially a new question," it is. I think that, in all cases, the decision on if the circumstances are "sufficient" to make this "substantially a new question," is a judgment call of the majority, and that any ruling of the chair is subject to appeal.

This response implies that there is an inherent difference between a motion that has just been rescinded and a new motion to do the same thing, so that it will be in order, just after the rescission, to simply make the same motion all over again. If this is what is meant by this response, I'm afraid that it is rather clearly incorrect.

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