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Weldon Merritt

Getting Rid of a Postponed Item

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I'm always a bit unhappy about being asked to respond to questions when all relevant facts are not provided, and in this instance we still haven't told whether or not the meeting to which this resolution was postponed will be the next meeting in a continuation of the same session during which it was postponed.

If so, reconsideration of the vote or votes by which the undesirable portions of the resolution and its preamble were inserted is a possibility, as has already been noted. If not, then when the resolution is brought back before the assembly, motions can be made to amend it and its preamble by striking out the undesirable portions.

We are given a set of conditions, in some cases implied, by the questioner, and we giving answers based on those parameters. 

Implied is that RONR is the authority.  If that is not the case, my answers may be very different.

Even if RONR is the parliamentary authority and this could be a continuation of the same session, there can be additional factors that would prevent reconsideration.  It is also possible that no member that voted for the amendment at the earlier meeting is willing to move to reconsider at the upcoming meeting.   It would even be possible that no member that voted for the amendment at the earlier meeting will be attending this upcoming meeting.

There are things that will have to be determined by the questioner.

 

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3 hours ago, J. J. said:

We are given a set of conditions, in some cases implied, by the questioner, and we giving answers based on those parameters. 

Implied is that RONR is the authority.  If that is not the case, my answers may be very different.

Even if RONR is the parliamentary authority and this could be a continuation of the same session, there can be additional factors that would prevent reconsideration.  It is also possible that no member that voted for the amendment at the earlier meeting is willing to move to reconsider at the upcoming meeting.   It would even be possible that no member that voted for the amendment at the earlier meeting will be attending this upcoming meeting.

There are things that will have to be determined by the questioner.

 

Of course. That's why I said that under such circumstances reconsideration is a "possibility".

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Guest Zev

Thank you Mr. H.

Hypothetical question.

Could the assembly, in the same session after the original motion was amended, have voted down the motion and then re-introduced the original motion sans the amendment without violating the prohibition on renewal of motions?

 

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12 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I'm always a bit unhappy about being asked to respond to questions when all relevant facts are not provided, and in this instance we still haven't told whether or not the meeting to which this resolution was postponed will be the next meeting in a continuation of the same session during which it was postponed.

If so, reconsideration of the vote or votes by which the undesirable portions of the resolution and its preamble were inserted is a possibility, as has already been noted. If not, then when the resolution is brought back before the assembly, motions can be made to amend it and its preamble by striking out the undesirable portions.

I am relaying the infomation that was provided to me, so I can't be certain; but it is my understanding that the meeting to which the item was postponed will be a separate session. I will clarify that with the friend before I give him any advice.

But I am curious about your second paraghraph. The undesirable portion are the clauses that were inserted by the amendment adopted at the last session. Are you saying that it is order at the next session to move to strike them (without suspending the rules or referring to a committee, or any other work-around)?

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6 hours ago, Weldon Merritt said:

I am relaying the infomation that was provided to me, so I can't be certain; but it is my understanding that the meeting to which the item was postponed will be a separate session. I will clarify that with the friend before I give him any advice.

But I am curious about your second paraghraph. The undesirable portion are the clauses that were inserted by the amendment adopted at the last session. Are you saying that it is order at the next session to move to strike them (without suspending the rules or referring to a committee, or any other work-around)?

Yes.

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12 hours ago, Weldon Merritt said:

IThe undesirable portion are the clauses that were inserted by the amendment adopted at the last session. Are you saying that it is order at the next session to move to strike them (without suspending the rules or referring to a committee, or any other work-around)?

 

5 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Yes.

I have been under the impression that once the assembly has voted to amend a pending motion by inserting something, the only way to remove the inserted words while the main motioin is still pending is by reconsidering the vote on the amendment. (I have since confirmed that the coming meeting to which the MM was postponed is a separate session, so reconisder is not in order.) So is my impression wrong? Or does the fact that this is a new session make it now in order to move the amend the MM to strike the inserted langauge? I haven't found anything in RONR that seems to clearly provide the answer.

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I have the same understanding as Mr.Merritt and share his question as to whether the clock on amending already adopted amendments (insertions) starts over when the main motion (along with the already adopted amendments) is postponed to the next session.  I gather from the language on page 188 that debate is renewed when a motion is postponed to another day, but I don't see where anything says definitively that an amendment already adopted by inserting language can be stricken (struck?) out at the meeting to which it was postponed by an ordinary majority vote without suspending the rules.

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3 hours ago, Weldon Merritt said:

 

I have been under the impression that once the assembly has voted to amend a pending motion by inserting something, the only way to remove the inserted words while the main motioin is still pending is by reconsidering the vote on the amendment. (I have since confirmed that the coming meeting to which the MM was postponed is a separate session, so reconisder is not in order.) So is my impression wrong? Or does the fact that this is a new session make it now in order to move the amend the MM to strike the inserted langauge? I haven't found anything in RONR that seems to clearly provide the answer.

That has been my understanding. 

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Well, this is rather surprising.

Would you all also say that, if this motion to Amend had been defeated instead of adopted it could not be renewed at the next session when the postponed resolution is taken up?  

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, this is rather surprising.

Would you all also say that, if this motion to Amend had been defeated instead of adopted it could not be renewed at the next session when the postponed resolution is taken up?  

Yes, because renewal is limited for main motions and amendments to the same session (p. 338, ll. 5-14). Also based on the same citation, a defeated amendment could renewed in the same session, if, in the circumstance, it becomes a different question.

In either case, as of now, I see nothing in that would override p. 140, ll. 13-28, that the inserted would cannot be changed, or struck out, except as provided.   I am open to the idea that it could.

Edited by J. J.

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7 hours ago, J. J. said:

I see nothing in that would override p. 140, ll. 13-28, that the inserted would cannot be changed, or struck out, except as provided.   I am open to the idea that it could.

Neither do I, and I have been waiting to see if Mr. Honemann could point us to something that would.  While I generally am hesitant to disagree with a member of the authorship team, I believe I must in this instance, unless he can provide a citation to suppoort his assertion. I would be happy to have him do so, as that certainly would simplify matters.

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The nearest thing to what is being described  -  simply striking out a previously adopted amendment after a postponement  -  is page 276, lines 20ff.  But that text relates to referring the motion to a committee and then acting on the motion after the committee reports back, not a postponement. 

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I'm afraid that the best I can do at the moment is to suggest to you that, while reading the rules in Section 12 relating to the effect which the adoption or rejection of a motion to Amend will have upon subsequent motions to Amend (such as, for example, those found on page 140, line 13 to page 141, line 4), you keep firmly in mind what is said on pages 87-88 concerning the freedom of each new session, as well as what is said on pages 336 ff. regarding the renewal of motions. Nothing that is said in Section 12 is intended to override or negate the  basic principle concerning the freedom of each new session as reflected Sections 8 and 38 (and I suspect elsewhere, but I'm too lazy to keep looking). 

 

 

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Respectfully, I remain confused. The idea that nothing in Section 12 is intended to override the freedom of each new session, while certainly true as a matter of intent (at least, based on the best testimony we could ask for), seems to run smack into the principle that the specific, not the general, governs. If postponing a motion to a new session allows for otherwise-prohibited amendments, I cannot imagine why the text doesn't say so (and I hope the 12th will).

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Page 87,  ll. 11-14 does refer to postponement, but note that something cannot be postponed "beyond" the next session.  It does not say that the postponed question would be treated as a new question, in regard to amendment.  Now perhaps it should:)

I can see some similarities with Limits of Debate and Previous Question. However, in both of those cases, the executed parts of those motions would not be effected.

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For what it's worth, though, I think postponing the motion should eliminate those restrictions on amending adopted amendments, and I think some of them (not this one) should be eliminated in this age of printed copies and display screens (or organizations using display screens could adopt special rules of order), but I'm just not convinced yet that this is what RONR says.

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22 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

Respectfully, I remain confused. The idea that nothing in Section 12 is intended to override the freedom of each new session, while certainly true as a matter of intent (at least, based on the best testimony we could ask for), seems to run smack into the principle that the specific, not the general, governs. If postponing a motion to a new session allows for otherwise-prohibited amendments, I cannot imagine why the text doesn't say so (and I hope the 12th will).

Nothing in Section 12 specifically refers to the treatment of motions to Amend which were finally disposed of by being adopted or rejected during a session preceding the session at which the motion to which they were previously applied is being considered, and the so the principle to which you refer has no application (at least not in the way in which you seem to think it does). 

Edited by Daniel H. Honemann
Added parenthetical phrase at the end.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

The key is to be found on Page 336, which cites "the basic principle that an assembly cannot be asked to decide the same, or substantially the same, question twice during one session...." [emphasis added] That is the principle which underlies the prohibition on Page 140. Thus, it is in order to move to strike out words which were inserted in a previous session.

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One problem that I am having with this is that the assembly can tie the hands of the the next session, by a majority vote, with a subsidiary motion, i.e. Commit.   Likewise, when the next session is within a quarterly time interval, Lay on the Table can tie the hands of the next session, unless it does something else first.

If the assembly can tie the hands of the next session in regard to considering the main motion as a whole, I would have a problem saying that the assembly could not tie the future session's hands (that session being within the quarterly time interval) for part of that motion. 

There are certainly situations where the effects of subsidiary motions will not tie the hands of the next session in regard to that main motion.   But there are also cases where it will.  I'm not seeing any way, based on pp. 87-8, to make that distinction, at least at this point in time.

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For a quetion that initially didn't get any response for over an hour, this one has genererated a lot of thought-provoking commentary. Without a more explict statement in RONR, I stll am not completely convinced that simply moving to strike the offending amendment is in order at the next session. But I can see a good argument that it should be, and I hope that the 12th edition will make it explicit.

I appreciate all of the responses and suggestions. I now have a pretty good idea of the advice to give my friend.

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The rule on inserted words (p.140, ll. 13-28) is a rule of order.  It isn't something "in the nature of a rule of order," or a "special rule of order."  When the assembly adopted RONR, they adopted they adopted that as a rule of order. 

Rules of order do apply from session to session.  The rule regarding inserting words is in continuous existence.  It is in effect and does not need to be adopted at the session to remain in effect.

Then there is the cases of Previous Question and Limits of Debate.  Both of these motions involve suspending rules, almost always the rule that debate is limited twice for ten minutes.  A rule cannot be suspended beyond the current session (pp. 74, 87, 264, ll.29-30).

The rule that "once words are inserted they cannot be removed, with exceptions," paraphrasing, is a rule of order.  As long as RONR  is the adopted authority, that rule is in force even if the assembly doesn't take some action to adopt it in a given section.

To make the argument that the rule providing "once words are inserted they cannot be removed, with exceptions" would not apply you would have to argue either:

1.   That the rule is not a rule of order incorporated in RONR. (I think that is an impossibility)

2.  That a rule of order will cease to function when the session ends.

I do not see anything in text that even comes close the second one. It may be demonstrably false (pp. 16, ll. 21-28; 87, ll 7-10).

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6 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

The key is to be found on Page 336, which cites "the basic principle that an assembly cannot be asked to decide the same, or substantially the same, question twice during one session...." [emphasis added] That is the principle which underlies the prohibition on Page 140. Thus, it is in order to move to strike out words which were inserted in a previous session.

This is good common sense in my opinion. Parliamentary procedure enables the assembly to conduct its business, and it is not intended to impede the will of the assembly or trample on rights of members. I think Mr. H has clarified the issue for me and his solution makes good sense.

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14 minutes ago, Ann Rempel said:

This is good common sense in my opinion. Parliamentary procedure enables the assembly to conduct its business, and it is not intended to impede the will of the assembly or trample on rights of members. I think Mr. H has clarified the issue for me and his solution makes good sense.

The people that adopted the amendment knew that, at the next session, the words that the inserted, could not just be cut out by a temporary majority.  They would know this the same way that they would know that in the words were inserted and if reconsideration failed, those words could not just be cut out by a temporary majority at the same session. 

The question becomes if a rule of order remains in effect at the next session.

 

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FWIW, I still do not understand all of this and I am still confused. I don't see where RONR is at all clear that we can do what Mr. Honemann seems to be suggesting.   I hope the inserted provision CAN be removed with a simple majority vote at the next session to which the question was postponed, but I just don't see where RONR comes even close to saying so.

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I agree with Mr. Brown. I think what Mr. Honemann says makes good sense, and I hope the 12th will say it. I also hope it will remove a good number of other provisions about amendments.

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