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Not by special rule of order


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Considering more than one question

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What I said way back when concerning the motion Lay on the Table was entirely correct, and nothing I have said since in any way contradicts it.

As to Objection To the Consideration of a Questionif more than one third voted in favor of consideration and the chair ruled that the motion could not be considered,  this would have constituted a violation of a fundamental principle of parliamentary law, and a point of order concerning it could have been made at any time during the continuance of the breach. The intent of a member objecting to consideration of a question has no bearing on the validity of his or her objection in the same way that the intent of the maker of a motion to lay a question on the table has to the validity of that motion.

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

What I said way back when concerning the motion Lay on the Table was entirely correct, and nothing I have said since in any way contradicts it.

As to Objection To the Consideration of a Questionif more than one third voted in favor of consideration and the chair ruled that the motion could not be considered,  this would have constituted a violation of a fundamental principle of parliamentary law, and a point of order concerning it could have been made at any time during the continuance of the breach. The intent of a member objecting to consideration of a question has no bearing on the validity of his or her objection in the same way that the intent of the maker of a motion to lay a question on the table has to the validity of that motion.

 

Except, you have now established two different standards for  one FPPL.

Let me return Lay on the Table.

The member, Sam, moving Lay on the Table does so in good faith.  He wish to do something more urgent.  The members, a bare majority even without Sam, want to use Lay on the Table to kill the question.  As Sam's motive is not to kill the question, but the others voting for it do.  Would the adoption of Lay on the Table by a violation of that fundamental principle expressed at 17:15.

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10 minutes ago, J. J. said:

 

Except, you have no established two different standards for  one FPPL.

Let me return Lay on the Table.

The member, Sam, moving Lay on the Table does so in good faith.  He wish to do something more urgent.  The members, a bare majority even without Sam, want to use Lay on the Table to kill the question.  As Sam's motive is not to kill the question, but the others voting for it do.  Would the adoption of Lay on the Table by a violation of that fundamental principle expressed at 17:15.

Well, you posit an extremely unlikely set of facts, but the answer to your question is no. The motion is in order (absent any other problem with it not disclosed), requires only a majority vote for its adoption, and its adoption by majority vote will violate no rule at all. 

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7 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, you posit an extremely unlikely set of facts, but the answer to your question is no. The motion is in order (absent any other problem with it not disclosed), requires only a majority vote for its adoption, and its adoption by majority vote will violate no rule at all. 

Not really.  The motivations for voting for or against some motion often occurs.

So, you are saying that the majority of the members may violate a fundamental principle? 

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3 hours ago, J. J. said:

Not really.  The motivations for voting for or against some motion often occurs.

So, you are saying that the majority of the members may violate a fundamental principle? 

If I understand DHH's position, the decision of whether the motion is in order or not depends on the motivation of the mover.  Once it has been determined that the motion is in order, the motivation of those who support it is irrelevant. 

A motion can be ruled dilatory.  Casting a vote cannot.

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6 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

If I understand DHH's position, the decision of whether the motion is in order or not depends on the motivation of the mover.  Once it has been determined that the motion is in order, the motivation of those who support it is irrelevant. 

I think you've got this right.

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6 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

No. Adoption of a motion to lay a pending main motion on the table does not have the effect of suppressing that motion for the duration of the session (17:6-9). 

You are, however, saying that it is just fine for the majority, in this example, to lay a question on the table in order to suppress a main motion without debate by less than a 2/3 vote. 

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On 10/14/2020 at 2:57 PM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I'm saying I think you, J.J., need to read Section 17 again.

I'm  looking at 17:15 and I see nothing  relating to the fundamental principle to intent. 

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On 10/13/2020 at 12:16 PM, J. J. said:

Let me return Lay on the Table.

The member, Sam, moving Lay on the Table does so in good faith.  He wish to do something more urgent.  The members, a bare majority even without Sam, want to use Lay on the Table to kill the question.  As Sam's motive is not to kill the question, but the others voting for it do.  Would the adoption of Lay on the Table by a violation of that fundamental principle expressed at 17:15.

 

On 10/13/2020 at 12:42 PM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, you posit an extremely unlikely set of facts, but the answer to your question is no. The motion is in order (absent any other problem with it not disclosed), requires only a majority vote for its adoption, and its adoption by majority vote will violate no rule at all. 

 

On 10/13/2020 at 7:56 PM, J. J. said:

Not really.  The motivations for voting for or against some motion often occurs.

So, you are saying that the majority of the members may violate a fundamental principle? 

 

On 10/14/2020 at 5:59 AM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

No. Adoption of a motion to lay a pending main motion on the table does not have the effect of suppressing that motion for the duration of the session (17:6-9). 

 

8 hours ago, J. J. said:

I'm  looking at 17:15 and I see nothing  relating to the fundamental principle to intent. 

I find it somewhat difficult to understand what you mean by "the fundamental principle to intent", but RONR makes it very clear that the motion to Lay on the Table will not be in order if it is made with the intention of suppressing a question without debate, and that this is because doing so is a violation of a fundamental principle of parliamentary law.

"The motion to Lay on the Table is often incorrectly used and wrongly admitted as in order with the intention of either killing an embarrassing question without a direct vote, or of suppressing a question without debate. The first of these two uses is unsafe if there is any contest on the issue; the second is in violation of the fundamental principle of general parliamentary law that only a two-thirds vote can rightfully suppress a main question without allowing free debate."   (RONR, 12th ed., 17:15)

In the example you gave us, the mover of the motion to Lay on the Table did so in good faith, wishing to take up a question of greater urgency. The motion was not made with the intention of suppressing a question without debate. Hence my response to the effect that the motion was in order (absent any other problem with it not disclosed), and that its adoption by majority vote will violate no rule at all. 

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4 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

 

 

 

 

I find it somewhat difficult to understand what you mean by "the fundamental principle to intent", but RONR makes it very clear that the motion to Lay on the Table will not be in order if it is made with the intention of suppressing a question without debate, and that this is because doing so is a violation of a fundamental principle of parliamentary law.

"The motion to Lay on the Table is often incorrectly used and wrongly admitted as in order with the intention of either killing an embarrassing question without a direct vote, or of suppressing a question without debate. The first of these two uses is unsafe if there is any contest on the issue; the second is in violation of the fundamental principle of general parliamentary law that only a two-thirds vote can rightfully suppress a main question without allowing free debate."   (RONR, 12th ed., 17:15)

In the example you gave us, the mover of the motion to Lay on the Table did so in good faith, wishing to take up a question of greater urgency. The motion was not made with the intention of suppressing a question without debate. Hence my response to the effect that the motion was in order (absent any other problem with it not disclosed), and that its adoption by majority vote will violate no rule at all. 

 

The motion was adopted with the intent of suppressing a main question without debate by less than a two-thirds vote.  I see nothing that even hints that only the intent of the mover can violate this fundamental principle, only the action of the assembly.

To give a converse example.  The member moves to lay a question on the table with the intent of suppressing a main motion without debate.  More than two-thirds of the assembly votes to adopt the motion to lay the question on the table.  Has that fundamental principle of parliamentary law expressed in 17:15 been violated? 

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5 hours ago, J. J. said:

I see nothing that even hints that only the intent of the mover can violate this fundamental principle,

As a practical matter, J.J., how would you go about determining the intent of the assembly?

The chair can ask the mover what the intent of the motion is, but members cannot explain their votes.

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23 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

As a practical matter, J.J., how would you go about determining the intent of the assembly?

The chair can ask the mover what the intent of the motion is, but members cannot explain their votes.

I would look at the circumstances, as I would for Lay on the Table in the 11th edition.

Since it is a fundamental principle of parliamentary law, I may rule that the initial motion to Lay on the Table was adopted in violation of that rule, and would become pending.  Again, it would be situational.

Now, as a practical matter, consider these circumstances:

1.  You ask the maker of the motion Lay on the Table, and the maker says it is to temporarily delay the motion.  A bare majority adopts the motion. 

2.  Near the end of the meeting, the motion to Take From the Table is defeated in regard to the main motion, by a bare majority.  There were repeated  efforts to adopt Take From the Table throughout the meeting that were defeated.

3.  The organization meets semiannually.

What do you do? 

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Guest Zev

As a presiding officer I probably should have ruled the motion to Lay On The Table as out of order and invite an appeal, but that option is now in the past. As of now, if there is a good alternative to allowing the majority to determine the fate of this motion I would like to know what that alternative is.

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5 hours ago, J. J. said:

I would look at the circumstances, as I would for Lay on the Table in the 11th edition.

Since it is a fundamental principle of parliamentary law, I may rule that the initial motion to Lay on the Table was adopted in violation of that rule, and would become pending.  Again, it would be situational.

If you have to infer the intent of the assembly, and after the fact at that, then I can't see how you can successfully argue that the intent is evident.

5 hours ago, J. J. said:

Now, as a practical matter, consider these circumstances:

1.  You ask the maker of the motion Lay on the Table, and the maker says it is to temporarily delay the motion.  A bare majority adopts the motion. 

2.  Near the end of the meeting, the motion to Take From the Table is defeated in regard to the main motion, by a bare majority.  There were repeated  efforts to adopt Take From the Table throughout the meeting that were defeated.

3.  The organization meets semiannually.

What do you do? 

For two main reasons, I accept the circumstances.

First, the events during the meeting may have altered the assembly's feelings about the motion. While they originally adopted the motion with the intent to take it from the table at a later time in the meeting, something happened that has changed their mind since. It would be a huge and erroneous assumption by the chair to infer that the intent was improper at the time the motion was laid on the table.

Second, even if the intent was improper, your proposed action as chair is futile. Assume that you rule that the previous tabling was not in order. As a majority just defeated the attempt to take the motion from the table, it's reasonable to assume that the same majority will overturn your ruling on appeal. But let's take it further and assume that you, as chair, refuse to entertain the appeal (which I would not advise). As soon as the motion is again before the assembly, the same majority can immediately adjourn the meeting. Any of these ways defeats your intent as chair.

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It should be fully understood that the 12th edition made no change whatsoever with respect to the effect of the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table.  Adoption of this motion does not have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table. The assembly may subsequently adjourn its meeting without having taken the question from the table, and this adjournment may end the session, but this does not change the fact that the adoption of the motion to Lay on the Table did not, in and of itself, have the effect of killing the motion which was laid on the table.

It is not in order to move to lay a question on the table for any of the purposes mentioned in 17:15, and it is the duty of the presiding officer to prevent the motion's introduction for any such purpose, but this has nothing to do with the effect of the adoption of such a motion.  

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

It should be fully understood that the 12th edition made no change whatsoever with respect to the effect of the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table.  Adoption of this motion does not have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table. The assembly may subsequently adjourn its meeting without having taken the question from the table, and this adjournment may end the session, but this does not change the fact that the adoption of the motion to Lay on the Table did not, in and of itself, have the effect of killing the motion which was laid on the table.

It is not in order to move to lay a question on the table for any of the purposes mentioned in 17:15, and it is the duty of the presiding officer to prevent the motion's introduction for any such purpose, but this has nothing to do with the effect of the adoption of such a motion.  

Does a motion adopted in violation of fundamental principle of parliamentary law create a breach of a continuing nature? 

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1 minute ago, J. J. said:

Does a motion adopted in violation of fundamental principle of parliamentary law create a breach of a continuing nature? 

Yes (RONR, 12th ed., 23:6).

But this is entirely beside the point. As previously noted, the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table does not, I repeat NOT, have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table, and this is true regardless of the intent of the maker of the motion. The motion laid on the table has not been finally disposed of at all; it has been only temporarily disposed of, and remains within the control of the assembly. 

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9 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

If you have to infer the intent of the assembly, and after the fact at that, then I can't see how you can successfully argue that the intent is evident.

For two main reasons, I accept the circumstances.

First, the events during the meeting may have altered the assembly's feelings about the motion. While they originally adopted the motion with the intent to take it from the table at a later time in the meeting, something happened that has changed their mind since. It would be a huge and erroneous assumption by the chair to infer that the intent was improper at the time the motion was laid on the table.

Second, even if the intent was improper, your proposed action as chair is futile. Assume that you rule that the previous tabling was not in order. As a majority just defeated the attempt to take the motion from the table, it's reasonable to assume that the same majority will overturn your ruling on appeal. But let's take it further and assume that you, as chair, refuse to entertain the appeal (which I would not advise). As soon as the motion is again before the assembly, the same majority can immediately adjourn the meeting. Any of these ways defeats your intent as chair.

I do not argue that the intent was evident.  I argue that in the circumstances, the refusal to take the the question from the table violates a fundamental principle of parliamentary law (17:15).

For your second argument, the membership could appeal any decision from the chair, from the floor, if necessary.  A bylaw that, beyond question, requires notice to adopt some action, could be overruled, improperly, by a majority.  Yes, the majority can prevent the enforcement of a rule.  It is still a violation of the rule. 

Yes, there are other methods that they could use to end the session. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Yes (RONR, 12th ed., 23:6).

But this is entirely beside the point. As previously noted, the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table does not, I repeat NOT, have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table, and this is true regardless of the intent of the maker of the motion. The motion laid on the table has not been finally disposed of at all; it has been only temporarily disposed of, and remains within the control of the assembly. 

I see nothing in the description in 17:15 that the USE of the motion Lay on the Table to suppress a main motion does not violate that fundamental principle.  That use may be determined after the motion Lay on the Table is adopted.

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Just now, J. J. said:

I see nothing in the description in 17:15 that the USE of the motion Lay on the Table to suppress a main motion does not violate that fundamental principle.  That use may be determined after the motion Lay on the Table is adopted.

Well, this sort of argument misconstrues some of what is said in RONR by continuing to ignore the fact that what we are concerned with here is the effect of the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table, as a matter of parliamentary law, and as a matter of parliamentary law there can be no doubt but that the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table does not have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table. 

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5 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, this sort of argument misconstrues some of what is said in RONR by continuing to ignore the fact that what we are concerned with here is the effect of the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table, as a matter of parliamentary law, and as a matter of parliamentary law there can be no doubt but that the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table does not have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table. 

Whether or not that is the intent of the motion Lay on the Table has the intent of suppressing a main motion, it is clearly the effect of adopting a motion to Lay on the Table in this circumstance.  The fundamental principle makes no distinction for intent.

As noted in 17:15, it is an improper use of Lay on the Table to suppress a question for the session without debate.  Properly used,  "there can be no doubt but that the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table does not have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table."   This in not the proper use of the motion Lay on the Table.  It is very specifically said to be "wrongfully used and improperly admitted [emphasis added]" when used to suppress a main motion without debate without a two-thirds vote. 

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33 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Whether or not that is the intent of the motion Lay on the Table has the intent of suppressing a main motion, it is clearly the effect of adopting a motion to Lay on the Table in this circumstance.  The fundamental principle makes no distinction for intent.

As noted in 17:15, it is an improper use of Lay on the Table to suppress a question for the session without debate.  Properly used,  "there can be no doubt but that the adoption of a motion to Lay on the Table does not have the effect of suppressing ("killing") the motion which has been laid on the table."   This in not the proper use of the motion Lay on the Table.  It is very specifically said to be "wrongfully used and improperly admitted [emphasis added]" when used to suppress a main motion without debate without a two-thirds vote. 

You can repeat this nonsense over and over again, but it will still remain nonsense. 

I'd suggest you take another look at 17:16 again, but I think it's useless. All that I can do at this point is to caution our readers to ignore the responses that you have posted because they are simply flat-out wrong.

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I feel a bit like I'm watching my parents argue here...

But I remain deeply confused over the term FPPL.  It appears in a few places in RONR, usually in the form of "X is a FPPL".  But I have no way, from RONR, to understand what an FPPL is or how something is determined to be an FPPL. 

Of course, the purpose of the rules is to allow the majority to work its will while paying due regard to the rights of minorities, especially large ones, and of individual members, as well as those not present.  From this, I can derive the principle of majoritarianism for most things as an FPPL.  Also, that members have a right to a fair trial, and that notice is required for meetings and separately for momentous actions (amending bylaws and elections) and at least some of the requirements for unanimous consent.  But how do I derive that there exists a FPPL that a two-thirds vote is the correct threshold to suppress a motion for the duration of a session?  Why not three-fifths or three-fourths?  How am I to understand what is the list of FPPLs except by seeing what is called an FPPL in RONR?

This is by far the most frustrating question that I have in regards to RONR.

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