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Authority to suspend convention standing rule

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The Standing Rules for annual conventions were prepared and adopted by the organization's Board of Directors.  Some members see a need to suspend one of the rules for this year's convention. There are three options: 1) at the next Board meeting a motion can be adopted to suspend the rule for the upcoming convention; 2) at the next Board meeting there can be a motion authorizing the convention delegates to suspend the rule if they wish to do so; 3) the convention delegates can suspend the rule themselves without board action.  Ordinarily, the latter can be done with a majority vote of the delegates.  

Questions: (a) If the Board wanted to amend or rescind the standing rule without prior notice, it would require a 2/3 vote or majority of the board.  Would that also be required to suspend the rule without prior notice, or would a suspension require only a majority vote?   RONR authorizes convention delegates to suspend a standing rule by a majority vote; can the Board adopt a motion requiring a 2/3 vote of the delegates instead? Wouldn't that, itself, be a standing rule that the delegates could suspend by a majority vote?  [c]  Since RONR authorizes convention delegates to suspend a standing rule by a majority vote, can the convention delegates do so even if the previously mentioned motions were made at the Board meeting but failed to receive a majority vote?

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I got this one because I studied how to do this for an AM I'm going to next year.  First thing is that the standing rules are not in effect until adopted by the assembly so you're not suspending existing rules.  Read p 618 to see that the rules do not carry over from one convention to the next but just know that the entire premise you raise in your OP needs to be thrown out.

 

If you believe the rule should not exist then when the standing rules come up for adoption, you would call for a Division which is your right as a member and does not need to be seconded or approved by the assembly or Chair.  The form can be as simple as being recognized and saying, "I call for a separate vote on proposed rule #8".  See p 619 l 17-19.  The rest of the rules are then voted on with a 2/3 vote needed to adopt them.  Then the rule you wanted divided comes up and can be debated and amended and may require a 2/3 vote or a majority vote (see p 620).

 

If you are talking about suspending an adopted rule - meaning one adopted by the assembly at the convention - then it must be for a specific purpose like "I move to suspend the rules to allow Mr. Ceepeay to give a presentation on organizational fundraising." then you only need a majority vote of the assembly.p 620 l 31 to p 621 l 2.

 

 

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4 hours ago, smb said:

The Standing Rules for annual conventions were prepared and adopted by the organization's Board of Directors.  Some members see a need to suspend one of the rules for this year's convention. There are three options: 1) at the next Board meeting a motion can be adopted to suspend the rule for the upcoming convention; 2) at the next Board meeting there can be a motion authorizing the convention delegates to suspend the rule if they wish to do so; 3) the convention delegates can suspend the rule themselves without board action.  Ordinarily, the latter can be done with a majority vote of the delegates.  

Questions: (a) If the Board wanted to amend or rescind the standing rule without prior notice, it would require a 2/3 vote or majority of the board.  Would that also be required to suspend the rule without prior notice, or would a suspension require only a majority vote?   RONR authorizes convention delegates to suspend a standing rule by a majority vote; can the Board adopt a motion requiring a 2/3 vote of the delegates instead? Wouldn't that, itself, be a standing rule that the delegates could suspend by a majority vote?  [c]  Since RONR authorizes convention delegates to suspend a standing rule by a majority vote, can the convention delegates do so even if the previously mentioned motions were made at the Board meeting but failed to receive a majority vote?

If, as you say, the Standing Rules for this organization's annual conventions were prepared and adopted by its Board of Directors, I assume that the organization's bylaws must confer such authority upon its Board. Is this the case? If so, I think it will be necessary to read exactly what the bylaws say in this connection in order to answer the questions you have asked. The rules in RONR (on pp. 620-621) relating to amendment, rescission, and suspension of convention standing rules relate to rules which have been adopted by the convention itself.

 

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It's an unusual set-up.  The standing rules for this association's conventions are in the association's policy manual.  Per the bylaws, the sole authority for approving, amending, rescinding the policy manual resides in the Board of Directors. The convention delegates have never voted to adopt or amend the convention standing rules -- they are a fait accompli.  Delegates have occasionally suspended applicable procedural rules provided by RONR but they have never had occasion to suspend one of their own own standing rules.  So the question essentially is whether, under such a scheme, the convention delegates have the authority to suspend a standing rule adopted by the board without prior board authorization to do so or whether the rules from the board should be considered directive.   While the situation is somewhat akin to the Bylaws 'directing' that RONR be the parliamentary authority, RONR expressly provides for suspending its own rules.  The standing rules adopted by the board do not provide such express authority.  So the question, essentially, is whether the delegates need to be given express authority or whether the authority of delegates to suspend a standing rule is implicit.  My own opinion is that since RONR allows a body to suspend a procedural rule contained in the bylaws [certainly a 'directive' document], there is no reason it shouldn't be able to do so here as well. Obviously, this cannot be answered by reference to RONR -- so perhaps this is not an appropriate topic for this forum -- just curious to see if others have encountered such a situation before and how it was handled. 

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I am not 100% convinced that the set up you describe means that the standing rules are not to adopted by the convention* but ultimately it is up to the body to interpret their bylaws.  If the bylaws are silent on suspending the rules then RONR would give the body the authority to suspend the rules by majority vote.

 

 

*It seems this could turn into a whole other discussion. 

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2 hours ago, smb said:

It's an unusual set-up.  

The standing rules for this association's conventions are in the association's policy manual.  

Per the bylaws, the sole authority for approving, amending, rescinding the policy manual resides in the Board of Directors.

The convention delegates have never voted to adopt or amend the convention standing rules -- they are a fait accompli. 

It would appear that your organization has MIS-PLACED its "convention standing rules" into the wrong document ("policy manual").

A convention standing rule is a rule which a convention adopts, or at least recognizes and applies as a convention rule.

• A board cannot impose standing rules upon a convention (of a non-board body).

If you have a rule which says that your board creates policies exclusively, then the board ought not clutter up its policy manual with rules which cannot truly be adopted (or enforced, or acknowledged, or suspended, etc.) by your board.

***

Since rules are suspended based on its KIND, then a standing rule is suspendable, assuming the rule is recognized as such.

***

If your convention standing rule is "in the nature of a rule of order", then the rule is still suspendable.

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22 hours ago, smb said:

  Questions: (a) If the Board wanted to amend or rescind the standing rule without prior notice, it would require a 2/3 vote or majority of the board.  Would that also be required to suspend the rule without prior notice, or would a suspension require only a majority vote?  

I do agree that this is an unusual situation.

First, unless there is  something in the bylaws to the contrary, the board could not suspend these rules at a board meeting.

Second, the board could amend or rescind the rule, by a 2/3 vote or a vote of the majority on the board.  This is a basic rescission vote.

Third, by the same vote, the board could amend the rule to prevent it from being in effect during the convention.  In other words, they could amend the rule by adding an amendment that says, "This rule shall not be in effect during the 2017 convention."  This technically is not suspending the rule, but, like suspending the rule, it will render it ineffective at the 2017 convention.

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19 hours ago, smb said:

It's an unusual set-up.  The standing rules for this association's conventions are in the association's policy manual.  Per the bylaws, the sole authority for approving, amending, rescinding the policy manual resides in the Board of Directors. The convention delegates have never voted to adopt or amend the convention standing rules -- they are a fait accompli.  

The bylaws may vest in the Board of Directors the sole authority for approving, amending, and rescinding the policies which are to be included in the policy manual, but how, exactly, do the bylaws identify or describe the sort of policies which are to be included in the policy manual? Do the bylaws make it clear that rules for the association's conventions form a part of the policies which are to be included in this manual?

Based upon what has been posted, I gather that the answer to my last question is yes, but I also find this passing strange.

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4 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Based upon what has been posted, I gather that the answer to my last question is yes, but I also find this passing strange.

I haven't gathered that.  It looks to me like the board, at some point lost to posterity, decided to stick convention rules into the policy manual, which only the board amends (probably because it's meant to be board policies) and has gotten away with it (without knowing they were getting away with anything) ever since.  

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