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After reading this thread, I have a question:

Why is the motion, relating to entering or leaving Executive Session, debatable?  I can sort of understand in a general sense why the motion to enter into Executive Session is debatable, within reason.  For example, one member may think an issue is of a sensitive or controversial nature, while another member may not.  But the motion to come out of Executive Session seems far more simple - either you want to end Executive Session or not.  I know I am missing something here, but I don't know what it is so I am asking.

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I would think it would be germane to the question for a member in debate to indicate that there may be other business that should be conducted before leaving Executive Session and if the motion wasn't debatable the members wouldn't be advised before the vote were taken.  I'm sure there are other reasons but this is what I can come up with before my 1st cup of coffee.  ;)

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7 hours ago, Rev Ed said:

After reading this thread, I have a question:

Why is the motion, relating to entering or leaving Executive Session, debatable?  I can sort of understand in a general sense why the motion to enter into Executive Session is debatable, within reason.  For example, one member may think an issue is of a sensitive or controversial nature, while another member may not.  But the motion to come out of Executive Session seems far more simple - either you want to end Executive Session or not.  I know I am missing something here, but I don't know what it is so I am asking.

A motion to go into (or leave ) executive session is a question of privilege (p. 95, ll. 28-30). If it is admitted by the chair as a question of privilege, it is treated as a main motion, and hence is debatable and amendable (p. 225, ll. 18-21). If introduced when no question is pending, such a motion is treated just as any other main motion (p. 225, ll. 21-24).

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On 12/31/2016 at 0:16 AM, Rev Ed said:

But the motion to come out of Executive Session seems far more simple - either you want to end Executive Session or not.  I know I am missing something here, but I don't know what it is so I am asking.

Is it simple? Suppose that, during the discussion on the issue, some members change their minds about whether the topic they are discussing should, in fact, be considered in executive session and they wish to continue the discussion in open session. Alternatively, suppose that, upon concluding discussion of this topic, a member wishes to introduce a motion regarding another topic of a sensitive nature.

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But yes, good question, Young Brave Sparkling Canad revness.

Time was that I thought, based on what RONR said (and before that, ROR, and before that, whatever it said in 1875 or 1893, I'd look it up but that information is on page VII ("seven" in civilized, post-Roman-Empire terms) or so in the book, and I'm way over here at the keyboard and my copy of the book is way over there about a whole cubit away under my elbow), that Robert's Rules (1876 to now) does not allow -- at all (or "whatsoever," I'm not sure which is which)  --  for exit from executive session, so that, once an organization enters executive session at a meeting, it is stuck in it forever (or until the organization disbands, or until the heat-death of the Universe -- whichever comes first) (those who might wish to research this question might look at then-contemporary threads, in one or two of which, indeed, here on The World's Premiere Internet Parliamentary Forum (O nuts, I think I left something out),  J. J. referred to that phenomenon, perhaps paradoxically, as the "cold death" of the Universe -- probably on accounta hims being a college graduate).  I have not actually been convinced by the opposing arguments which say that, implicitly, any organization that enters executive session can leave it simply with a main motion, corresponding to the main motion that the organization employed to enter executive session; but I have acquiesced under the incessant (or interminable, I'm not sure which) browbeating.

Edited by Gary c Tesser
post too short

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9 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Ah, go ride your new subway  --  you'll feel better.

I'm surprised that news even made it to your part of the country. Is the opening of every little $4.4 billion project in New York national news these days? (I guess Donald Trump has been too slow with the tweets lately, so the newspapers have to fill their pages with trivial stuff.)

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On 1/1/2017 at 0:09 PM, Josh Martin said:

Is it simple? Suppose that, during the discussion on the issue, some members change their minds about whether the topic they are discussing should, in fact, be considered in executive session and they wish to continue the discussion in open session. Alternatively, suppose that, upon concluding discussion of this topic, a member wishes to introduce a motion regarding another topic of a sensitive nature.

Thanks for the examples.  I never really thought of it that way.  In the first situation I would have just thought that a motion to leave Executive Session would be simple enough, but I then I realized that yes, it might raise questions like "Why do you want to leave Executive Session?" which can only be answered through debate.

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I would turn this around and ask it in reverse . . .

Since debating motions is a right of membership (see RONR pg. 3, ln. 4), debate of motions should only be limited for some legitimate purpose. So the question is, what legitimate reason would there be for not allowing debate on that motion? The fact that it isn't controversial (most of the time) does not seem to me to justify such a limitation. Rather, it might be a good justification for the presiding officer to ask for unanimous consent and not belabor the matter.

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33 minutes ago, Greg Goodwiller said:

I would turn this around and ask it in reverse . . .

Since debating motions is a right of membership (see RONR pg. 3, ln. 4), debate of motions should only be limited for some legitimate purpose. So the question is, what legitimate reason would there be for not allowing debate on that motion? The fact that it isn't controversial (most of the time) does not seem to me to justify such a limitation. Rather, it might be a good justification for the presiding officer to ask for unanimous consent and not belabor the matter.

I'm not clear what you're asking. Debate being a right of membership isn't relevant to whether or not a particular motion is debatable. It either is or isn't debatable, by rule.  Whether it's controversial or not certainly isn't, and neither is the fact it can be handled by unanimous consent.  Mr. Honemann has clearly answered Ed's question as far as I can tell.

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1 hour ago, George Mervosh said:

I'm not clear what you're asking. Debate being a right of membership isn't relevant to whether or not a particular motion is debatable. It either is or isn't debatable, by rule.  Whether it's controversial or not certainly isn't, and neither is the fact it can be handled by unanimous consent.  Mr. Honemann has clearly answered Ed's question as far as I can tell.

I'm not asking anything. For the sake of better understanding, I'm always willing to contemplate not just what the rule is, but on what principle(s) the rule is based. The original post didn't ask what the rule is, it asked why the rule is what it is, which is the question I attempted to answer.

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