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mjhmjh

Rule to prevent a rule from being suspended

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My organization wishes to adopt the following rule of order.

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Non-members may not be in the meeting room. This rule may not be suspended.

Is it permissible to have a special rule of order that cannot be suspended?

Edited by mjhmjh

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Interesting question. I think we've had some discussions on this in the past, but I don't recall where. I expect someone with a better command of the site will point you to the right threads. It seems to me, at least, that such a rule is suspendable, and the provision that it may not be suspended has no effect, unless the rule is placed into the bylaws, in which case it cannot be suspended. But that's just my gut reaction.

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6 minutes ago, mjhmjh said:

My organization wishes to adopt the following rule of order.

Is it permissible to have a special rule of order that cannot be suspended?

I don't see why you couldn't have such a rule, but it would probably be wiser to at least allow the rule to be suspended by unanimous consent.

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27 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

It seems to me, at least, that such a rule is suspendable, and the provision that it may not be suspended has no effect,

 

25 minutes ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

I don't see why you couldn't have such a rule, but it would probably be wiser to at least allow the rule to be suspended by unanimous consent

I agree with Mr. Gerber.  I think the rule can be made non-suspendable, but doing so is probably unwise.  However, it seems to me that such a special rule of order can be rescinded or amended just like any other special rule of order, so at least the society isn't stuck with an unwise rule forever.  Notice of intent to rescind or amend the rule can be given at one meeting and then voted on at the next meeting.  Or it could be done at the same meeting with the vote of a majority of the entire membership.  Finally, it might be possible to call a special meeting for the purpose of rescinding or amending the rule if the members want to change the rule before the next regular meeting.

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1 minute ago, Richard Brown said:

However, it seems to me that such a special rule of order can be rescinded or amended just like any other special rule of order, so at least the society isn't stuck with an unwise rule forever. 

I think this makes more sense than my answer. 

 

1 minute ago, Richard Brown said:

Or it could be done at the same meeting with the vote of a majority of the entire membership. 

Why not a 2/3 vote?

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5 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

Why not a 2/3 vote?

Because according to page 17, to amend a special rule or order requires either previous notice and a two thirds vote or the vote of a majority of the entire membership.  Here's the pertinent language:  "Adoption or amendment of special rules of order that are separate from the bylaws requires either (a) previous notice (pp. 121–24) and a two-thirds vote or (b) a vote of a majority of the entire membership."

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1 hour ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

What about a rule that says that the rule may not be suspended, rescinded, or amended?

Then the bylaws could be amended to forbid the special rule of order.

 

But, beyond that, please don't.

1) What happens if the assembly were facing legal action, and wanted the advise of legal counsel?

2) What happens if a member who is deaf joins, and no one else knows sign language?

I came up with these two examples in less than a minute of thinking about this rule.  I am certain that there are others.

This rules sounds very much like the sort of rule that gets proposed when there is bad behavior.  While it might require more work in the short run, addressing the issue through section XX, "Disciplinary Procedures" is far more likely to avoid tying the assembly in knots trying to undo something that it attempted to make unundoable.

 

 

Edited by Nathan Zook
Made the farm far.

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8 minutes ago, Nathan Zook said:

Then the bylaws could be amended to forbid the special rule of order.

In this case, the bylaws could be amended to allow nonmembers in the meeting room.

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