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18 hours ago, Weldon Merritt said:

You have been proven wrong, repeatedly. You just refuse to accept the proof.

"you have been proven wrong" If you could send the citations that prove me wrong, and support that a bylaw stating previous notice and a 2/3 vote is a rule of order, I would be grateful. Those actual pages could convince me. Thanks for your patience. Paul

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44 minutes ago, ptc122 said:

"you have been proven wrong" If you could send the citations that prove me wrong, and support that a bylaw stating previous notice and a 2/3 vote is a rule of order, I would be grateful. Those actual pages could convince me. Thanks for your patience. Paul

Paul,

Which part exactly is tripping you up? Is it the idea that a rule requiring a 2/3 vote is in the nature of a rule of order? Or is it the idea that a rule in the bylaws can also be in the nature of a rule of order?

Let's see if I can put it this way:

A.) Suppose that a society has a rule, not in its bylaws, requiring that a 2/3 vote is required to take some action. Is that rule in the nature of a rule of order? Why or why not?

B.) Suppose that a society has a rule in its bylaws providing that members may speak for three times of up to five minutes each on each debatable motion. Is that rule in the nature of a rule of order? Why or why not?

Edited by Josh Martin
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53 minutes ago, ptc122 said:

support that a bylaw stating previous notice and a 2/3 vote is a rule of order

It may (I fervently hope) help if you stop misquoting the book: "Rules contained in the bylaws (or constitution) cannot be suspended . . . unless the rule properly is in the nature of a rule of order as described in 2:14." RONR (12th ed.) 25:7
and
"Rules clearly identifiable as in the nature of rules of order that are placed within the bylaws can (with the exceptions specified in 25) also be suspended by a two-thirds vote" Ibid 2:21

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19 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

Paul,

Which part exactly is tripping you up? Is it the idea that a rule requiring a 2/3 vote is in the nature of a rule of order? Or is it the idea that a rule in the bylaws can also be in the nature of a rule of order?

Let's see if I can put it this way:

A.) Suppose that a society has a rule, not in its bylaws, requiring that a 2/3 vote is required to take some action. Is that rule in the nature of a rule of order? Why or why not?

B.) Suppose that a society has a rule in its bylaws providing that members may speak for three times of up to five minutes each on each debatable motion. Is that rule in the nature of a rule of order? Why or why not?

A.) This is in our bylaw: Bylaws require previous notice and a 2/3 vote for their amendment. Our bylaws are each on a separate sheet (standalone).  Our Procedural Rules are on a separate sheet with a note that they may be suspended with a 2/3 vote at any meeting.

2:14 seems to be about rules of order for meetings and ones that may be in a bylaw that are "clearly in the nature of a rule of order" A method of amending bylaws placed as a separate bylaw within the bylaws section would not be "clearly in the nature of a rule of order". Previous notice could not be suspended and coupled with previous notice, a 2/3 requirement related to amending bylaws, could not be suspended. 

As to your specific questions. These could take us down a road of further debate but a learning experience so I will take a crack at them.

A. There are 2/3rd requirements in meeting procedures and they could be rules of order. I focus on 25: 7-14 what cannot be suspended like quorum, majority vote, individual rights, previous notice and absentee rights.

As to B. I ain't going there: A society with Roberts as its authority could use Robert's suggestion (twice with 10mins first time and 5mins 2nd time?) and PQ could interrupt that with a 2/3 vote to cut off debate. To avoid PQ cutting into a members right to debate, a society could place that in their  bylaws specifying their own wording. 

Mr. Martin, I appreciate your approach on this. Much better than telling me to give-it-up.   At a future time I would like to have your  interpretation of 10:26 fn 1. Paul 

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[I thought I had posted the following several hours ago, but somehow it didn't show up. So I am posting it now.] 

I don't know how it could be made any more clear that we have already tried to make it. But I'll give it one last shot. 

First, rules of order are defined as "rules [that]relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings and to the duties of officers in that connection." 2:14.

Second, "Rules clearly identifiable as in the nature of rules of order that are placed within the bylaws can (with the exceptions specified in 25) also be suspended by a two-thirds vote ...." 2:25. Note that the word is "identifiable," not "identified."  So the bylaws need not say anything like "this is a rule of order." It is sufficient that the rule clearly "relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings [or] to the duties of officers in that connection."

Finally, re your request for "support that a bylaw stating previous notice and a 2/3 vote is a rule of order," you won't find any such specific statement in RONR. But clearly, the vote requirement for adopting a motion does "relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings." So does that mean such a bylaws provision cab be suspended by a 2/3 vote? In this particular instance, no. Why? Because one of the exceptions to the suspendability of a rule of order is that "[r]ules protecting absentees cannot be suspended, ... because the absentees do not consent to such suspension. For example, the rules ... requiring previous notice of a proposed amendment to the bylaws protect absentees, if there are any, and cannot be suspended when any member is absent." 25:10 (italics in original)

If you still are not convinced (particularly in light of RONR Senior Author Dan Honemann's statement earlier in this thread that "a] bylaw requirement of previous notice and a bylaw requirement of a two-thirds vote for adoption of a motion are both rules in the nature of rules of order"), I don't know what will do it, and I don't intend  to waste any more time in the attempt. 

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2 hours ago, ptc122 said:

A.) This is in our bylaw: Bylaws require previous notice and a 2/3 vote for their amendment. Our bylaws are each on a separate sheet (standalone).  Our Procedural Rules are on a separate sheet with a note that they may be suspended with a 2/3 vote at any meeting.

2:14 seems to be about rules of order for meetings and ones that may be in a bylaw that are "clearly in the nature of a rule of order" A method of amending bylaws placed as a separate bylaw within the bylaws section would not be "clearly in the nature of a rule of order". Previous notice could not be suspended and coupled with previous notice, a 2/3 requirement related to amending bylaws, could not be suspended. 

A. There are 2/3rd requirements in meeting procedures and they could be rules of order. I focus on 25: 7-14 what cannot be suspended like quorum, majority vote, individual rights, previous notice and absentee rights.

As to B. I ain't going there: A society with Roberts as its authority could use Robert's suggestion (twice with 10mins first time and 5mins 2nd time?) and PQ could interrupt that with a 2/3 vote to cut off debate. To avoid PQ cutting into a members right to debate, a society could place that in their  bylaws specifying their own wording. 

Based on these answers, it would appear that the primary issue is with the idea that a rule in the bylaws may be a rule in the nature of a rule of order. Although you seem to acknowledge that RONR says that such rules exist, I just presented you with a rule which is literally one of the examples of rules of order presented in the text, and you were unwilling to say that this was in the nature of a rule of order.

"The term rules of order refers to written rules of parliamentary procedure formally adopted by an assembly or an organization. Such rules relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings and to the duties of officers in that connection." RONR (12th ed.) 

"The average society that has adopted a suitable parliamentary authority seldom needs special rules of order, however, with the following notable exceptions:

...

  • A rule relating to the length or number of speeches permitted each member in debate is often found necessary." RONR (12th ed.) 2:16

"Rules contained in the bylaws (or constitution) cannot be suspended—no matter how large the vote in favor of doing so or how inconvenient the rule in question may be—unless the particular rule specifically provides for its own suspension, or unless the rule properly is in the nature of a rule of order as described in 2:14." RONR (12th ed.) 25:7, emphasis added

Since a rule "relating to the length or number of speeches permitted each member in debate" is one of the examples given of the sorts of rules of order commonly adopted by an assembly, and because it seems obvious on the face of it that rules "relating to the length or number of speeches permitted each member in debate" are rules which "relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings," I'm not sure I can imagine a rule which is more clearly in the nature of a rule of order.

You appear to acknowledge that a rule requiring a 2/3 vote is a rule of order, although you continue to insist that if this rule is in the bylaws, then it is no longer in the nature of a rule of order. Why does the placement of the rule change the nature of the rule? A rule requiring a 2/3 vote or a rule providing for a certain length or number of speeches permitted each member in debate does the same thing regardless of whether that rule is found in the bylaws or in special rules of order. In either case, the rule relates to the "orderly transaction of business in meetings."

Just in case you decide to suddenly backtrack from this acknowledgement, however, I think it is quite clear that rules pertaining to debate or to voting requirements are so central to the "orderly transaction of business in meetings" that there can be no doubt that such rules are in the nature of rules of order.

"Once a main motion has been brought before the assembly through the three steps described above, there are three further basic steps by which the motion is considered in the ordinary and simplest case (unless it is adopted by unanimous consent, as explained in 4:58–63). These normal steps are as follows:

1) Members debate the motion (unless no member claims the floor for that purpose).

2) The chair puts the question (that is, puts it to a vote).

3) The chair announces the result of the vote." RONR (12th ed.) 4:25

Debate and voting are two of the steps in considering a main motion which has been placed before the assembly. This is the manner in which business is transacted and conducted in meetings of a deliberative assembly. Rules pertaining to debate and voting are central features of the "orderly transaction of business in meetings," and rules which relate to them are in the nature of rules of order.

I think this addresses the general ideas you have expressed. Now on to some of your more specific complaints...

2 hours ago, ptc122 said:

A method of amending bylaws placed as a separate bylaw within the bylaws section would not be "clearly in the nature of a rule of order".

Where a rule is placed has nothing whatsoever to do with the nature of a rule. A rule which is in the nature of a rule of order does not lose its character as a rule of order simply because it is placed "within the bylaws section."

2 hours ago, ptc122 said:

Previous notice could not be suspended

This is not entirely accurate. A rule which requires previous notice generally may not be suspended, but it may be suspended in the unusual case that every member of the assembly is present. The reason that rules pertaining to previous notice may not be suspended is that such rules protect the rights of absentees. In the event that there are no absentees to protect, however, there is no longer any reason such rules cannot be suspended.

It must further be understood that notwithstanding the fact that a rule pertaining to previous notice (generally) may not be suspended, the rule is nonetheless a rule of order. Rules of order are rules which "relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings and to the duties of officers in that connection." There are cases where certain types of rules may not be suspended (or at least are more difficult to suspend), but nothing in Robert's Rules says that this means that they are not rules of order.

"Rules protecting absentees cannot be suspended, even by unanimous consent or an actual unanimous vote, because the absentees do not consent to such suspension. For example, the rules requiring the presence of a quorum, restricting business transacted at a special meeting to that mentioned in the call of the meeting, and requiring previous notice of a proposed amendment to the bylaws protect absentees, if there are any, and cannot be suspended when any member is absent." RONR (12th ed.), 25:10, emphasis added

Rules like this are actually precisely the reason why the footnote you were originally asking about exists.

2 hours ago, ptc122 said:

At a future time I would like to have your  interpretation of 10:26 fn 1.

"However, an incidental main motion that conflicts with a provision in the nature of a rule of order in the bylaws or constitution is in order provided that (a) the motion has no continuing force and effect beyond the current session and (b) the provision that it conflicts with is one that can be suspended. Such a motion is, in effect, an incidental main motion to suspend the rules, and the vote required for its adoption is the same as for the corresponding incidental motion (25)—that is, it usually requires a two-thirds vote. (See 6:23, 25:2(7), 25:7–14.) For example, it is in order, by a two-thirds vote, to adopt an agenda for the current session that differs from an order of business set forth in the bylaws." RONR (12th ed.) 10:26n1

What this rule alludes to is the fact that some rules of order cannot be suspended and that rules of order may not be suspended beyond the end of the current session. The footnote was added to clarify that although rules in the nature of rules of order within the bylaws may be suspended, the same principles apply as when suspending other rules of order.

For example, in the case of a rule requiring previous notice, the rule is in the nature of a rule of order. RONR tells us that rules in the bylaws in the nature of rules of order can be suspended. RONR also provides that rules protecting absentees, such as a rule requiring previous notice, CANNOT be suspended (unless there are no absentees). This footnote clarifies that this limitation still applies to rules requiring previous notice found within the bylaws.

This footnote also technically refers to a situation in which, rather than actually adopting a motion to Suspend the Rules, the organization adopts an incidental main motion which conflicts with a rule of order in the bylaws, but the rule in question could have been suspended. The example the footnote gives is a situation in which a society's bylaws mandate the use of a particular order of business, and the assembly adopts an agenda for the session which deviates from this order of business. Because the rule in question is in the nature of a rule of order, the effect of the motion does not last beyond the end of the current session, and there is no other reason why the rule could not be suspended, the motion to adopt the agenda is valid notwithstanding the conflict with the bylaws, just as if the assembly had adopted a motion to suspend the rules.

2 hours ago, ptc122 said:

Previous notice could not be suspended and coupled with previous notice, a 2/3 requirement related to amending bylaws, could not be suspended. 

Yes I agree that (assuming there are any absentees) the requirement for previous notice may not be suspended. As a logical extension of this, it is not in order (assuming there are any absentees) to suspend the requirement for previous notice and the requirement for a 2/3 vote.

It is in order, however, to suspend just the requirement for a 2/3 vote. There is nothing in the text suggesting that a requirement for a 2/3 vote cannot be suspended, although it will generally be pointless to do so.

2 hours ago, ptc122 said:

As to B. I ain't going there: A society with Roberts as its authority could use Robert's suggestion (twice with 10mins first time and 5mins 2nd time?) and PQ could interrupt that with a 2/3 vote to cut off debate. To avoid PQ cutting into a members right to debate, a society could place that in their  bylaws specifying their own wording. 

Placing a rule of this nature in the bylaws will do nothing more to protect a member's right to debate than if the society had instead adopted this rule as a special rule of order (which is the more advisable course of action). The Previous Question may still be adopted by a 2/3 vote in any event.

If an organization has a desire to limit the circumstances under which Previous Question may be adopted, the method to do so would be to 1) specifically say so, rather than relying on inferences and 2) specify that the rule may not be suspended or, in the alternative, specify a higher threshold for suspension.

Edited by Josh Martin
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On 11/27/2020 at 6:22 PM, ptc122 said:

"you have been proven wrong" If you could send the citations that prove me wrong, and support that a bylaw stating previous notice and a 2/3 vote is a rule of order, I would be grateful. Those actual pages could convince me. Thanks for your patience. Paul

Previous notice is not a rule of order and cannot be suspended as it protects absentees.

The vote threshold is in the nature of a rule of order, but it cannot be suspended by any vote less than 2/3, so effectively it can't be lowered, unless the assembly acts irrationally. 

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2 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Previous notice is not a rule of order and cannot be suspended as it protects absentees.

I'd say that the requirement for notice is in the nature of a rule of order but that it still cannot be suspended as it protects absentees.

Or, in other words, it's okay by RONR (12th ed.) 25:7 but still cannot be suspended because of 25:10

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I might also note that a rule in the bylaws which provides that a plurality vote will suffice for the election of officers is another example of a rule in the nature of a rule of order which can be suspended, but I'm loath to further prolong this thread which is already much too long.  🙂

I agree with the principle expressed here:  "I can understand why there may be some doubt about the ability of an assembly to create, by a motion to suspend the rules, a rule to last for the remainder of a session which it cannot create to last beyond that time by the adoption of a special rule of order.  I'm inclined to doubt it myself."   :)

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4 minutes ago, J. J. said:

I agree with the principle expressed here:  "I can understand why there may be some doubt about the ability of an assembly to create, by a motion to suspend the rules, a rule to last for the remainder of a session which it cannot create to last beyond that time by the adoption of a special rule of order.  I'm inclined to doubt it myself."   :)

Well, I'm glad you agree with this. 

That dealt with establishment of a continuing quorum requirement different than a majority of all the members, which can be done only by a rule in the bylaws.  Any such rule in the bylaws is clearly a rule in the nature of a rule of order.  

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42 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, I'm glad you agree with this. 

That dealt with establishment of a continuing quorum requirement different than a majority of all the members, which can be done only by a rule in the bylaws.  Any such rule in the bylaws is clearly a rule in the nature of a rule of order.  

However, it cannot be suspended, or at least there is "doubt" to it.  :)  In that particular case, a special rule cannot establish a quorum requirement. 

 

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4 minutes ago, J. J. said:

However, it cannot be suspended, or at least there is "doubt" to it.  :)  In that particular case, a special rule cannot establish a quorum requirement. 

 

Well, a quorum requirement in the bylaws can be suspended at any time when there are no absentees to protect.

I agree that a special rule of order cannot create a quorum requirement which varies from the standard "a majority of all the members" requirement.

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16 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, a quorum requirement in the bylaws can be suspended at any time when there are no absentees to protect.

I agree that a special rule of order cannot create a quorum requirement which varies from the standard "a majority of all the members" requirement.

Okay, am I correct in understanding that absent a rule in the bylaws, the vice president automatically becomes president if the president is removed from office? 

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On 11/27/2020 at 7:23 PM, Atul Kapur said:

It may (I fervently hope) help if you stop misquoting the book: "Rules contained in the bylaws (or constitution) cannot be suspended . . . unless the rule properly is in the nature of a rule of order as described in 2:14." RONR (12th ed.) 25:7
and
"Rules clearly identifiable as in the nature of rules of order that are placed within the bylaws can (with the exceptions specified in 25) also be suspended by a two-thirds vote" Ibid 2:21

 

Pages from Roberts 12th ed.wpd

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Yes, I think so.

Using the bylaws in the 12th edition, this would be the situation.

A member, at the previous regular meeting, gives notice to "Rescind the election of the President and elect a replacement."

At the meeting, a member moves to suspend the rules and elect someone other than the vice president to the soon to be vacant position of president.  Is it in order to suspend the rules to permit that? 

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2 hours ago, J. J. said:

Using the bylaws in the 12th edition, this would be the situation.

A member, at the previous regular meeting, gives notice to "Rescind the election of the President and elect a replacement."

At the meeting, a member moves to suspend the rules and elect someone other than the vice president to the soon to be vacant position of president.  Is it in order to suspend the rules to permit that? 

I have two comments to make concerning the notice that was given, which you say was "Rescind the election of the President and elect a replacement." The first is that the election of the President cannot be rescinded (35:6(c)), and a motion to remove him from office should not be cast in the form of a motion to Rescind.  My second comment is that the phrase “and elect a replacement” will necessarily be taken to mean elect a new Second Vice-President, since that is where the vacancy will occur if the President is removed from office (56:32, 62:16n6).

But putting all that aside, the answer to your question is no. It is my opinion that the rule in RONR that the vice-president (or highest ranking vice-president) automatically becomes president upon removal of the president is not a rule in the nature of a rule of order.

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RONR (11th ed.) p. 458, lines 8-13:

Quote

In case of the resignation or death of the president, the vice-president (if there is only one) or the first vice-president (if there are more than one) automatically becomes president for the unexpired term, unless the bylaws expressly provide otherwise for filling a vacancy in the office of president."

 

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58 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

 

But putting all that aside, the answer to your question is no. It is my opinion that the rule in RONR that the vice-president (or highest ranking vice-president) automatically becomes president upon removal of the president is not a rule in the nature of a rule of order.

Why, in this case, isn't it a rule in the nature of a rule of order?  It does deal with orderly transaction of business within a meeting and the duties of the officers in that regard.

 

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In my opinion, it is not in the nature of a rule of order because it deals with the duties of officers (in this case, the president) in all regards, not only those that apply to the orderly transaction of business. Therefore, it's a rule that has applications outside a meeting context.

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45 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Why, in this case, isn't it a rule in the nature of a rule of order?  It does deal with orderly transaction of business within a meeting and the duties of the officers in that regard.

 

Yes, it does, but it deals with much more than this.  It is a rule which specifies who is to assume all of the duties of the President if the office should become vacant, both those which relate to his duties while presiding and those which relate to his administrative duties, the latter being outside the scope of parliamentary law (RONR, 12th ed., 47:20).  As far as the rules in RONR are concerned, this immediate and automatic assumption of all of the duties of the president if the office of president should become vacant is the reason for the existence of the office of vice-president, and is inherent in the nature of the office itself.

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