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Minority reports and germaneness

Caryn Ann Harlos

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I am Chair of the National Libertarian Party Platform Committee.  We had a platform plank 2.4 which was amended by splitting into two - so that we have 2.4 and 2.5, and then the language in 2.4 was changed.  There is a minority report advocating a change to the new 2.5.  A member objected that this minority report is not germane since the committee report did not amend any of that language.

I tend to disagree.  If the plank was not split, this addition would have been germane so why isn't it just because it was split in two?  And what if we move the changes first and the split second.  It is the same result - would one really make this minority report germane and the other not?  And alternatively, can't it be argued that 2.5, even though it uses previous language is a new plank, thus the whole thing is new language and thus other language be proposed?

Also note that the member did try to move this in the meeting, but was denied an extension of time to do so, partly because he was polite and let the language of 2.4 be perfected first.



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