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Minority Report


Lori Lukinuk
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RONR (12th ed)51:64 states, The formal presentation of a so-called "minority report" - that is, the presentation of an expression of views in the name of a group of committee members not concurring with the committee report - is usually allowed by the assembly when such permission is requested ... "  

Question: Can an individual member of a committee request to present a minority report? If the answer is yes, and I hope the answer is no, on a larger scale, can individual members of a committee each request to present separate minority reports that they perceive are each different?

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I see no technical reason why an individual member cannot submit a minority report, as such.  However, I fail to understand why this seems significant.

It must be noted that a motion to adopt recommendations in such a minority report will require a second.

I am somewhat puzzled about this thread.  Could I be illuminated about the specificity of a minority report versus the member just making motions during consideration in the ordinary way?

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26 minutes ago, Rob Elsman said:

I see no technical reason why an individual member cannot submit a minority report, as such.  However, I fail to understand why this seems significant.

I see this issue come up from time to time, mostly at conventions. One reason for a committee member wanting to make a minority report is so that his or her minority report can be presented to the assembly at the same time as the majority report. If the member was to instead try to make those points in debate, the previous question could well be ordered before he has an opportunity to speak on the matter.

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RONR prescribes that a minority report is "an expression of views in the name of a group of committee members".  I do not read where RONR states an individual  on their own may request to submit a minority report.   I'm looking for clarity if RONR allows an individual, not part of a group of committee members, to request to present a minority report. Yes, I understand it would require a second, but that does not mean the second is part of the group of committee members. 

Scenario: A committee overwhelmingly approves a report with a recommendation to be presented to the assembly (likely in the 90% approval range). Two individual members do not concur with the report nor the recommendation coming forward. They also do not concur with each others reasoning. Each therefore are wanting to request to present minority reports to the assembly which include recommendations. They are not interested in simply voting against the proposed wording nor amending it. They are wanting to go the minority report route.

 

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23 minutes ago, Lori Lukinuk said:

RONR prescribes that a minority report is "an expression of views in the name of a group of committee members".  I do not read where RONR states an individual  on their own may request to submit a minority report.   I'm looking for clarity if RONR allows an individual, not part of a group of committee members, to request to present a minority report. Yes, I understand it would require a second, but that does not mean the second is part of the group of committee members. 

Lori, it is my opinion that one (or more) individual members may request permission from the assembly to present a minority report.  I have seen it happen  more than once and there is at least one thread in this forum in which one of our most prolific posters commented that it is his opinion that a minority report may be presented by and on behalf of one member if the assembly agrees to hear it.   Per the rules in RONR, primarily 51:64 and 51:65, it is up to the assembly whether to hear any minority reports regardless of the size of the minority.

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5 hours ago, Lori Lukinuk said:

RONR (12th ed)51:64 states, The formal presentation of a so-called "minority report" - that is, the presentation of an expression of views in the name of a group of committee members not concurring with the committee report - is usually allowed by the assembly when such permission is requested ... "  

Question: Can an individual member of a committee request to present a minority report? If the answer is yes, and I hope the answer is no, on a larger scale, can individual members of a committee each request to present separate minority reports that they perceive are each different?

The answer is "yes" to both of these questions. It will be up to the assembly whether to grant these requests. The assembly certainly might be less likely to grant such a request coming from a single member.

4 hours ago, Lori Lukinuk said:

RONR prescribes that a minority report is "an expression of views in the name of a group of committee members".  I do not read where RONR states an individual  on their own may request to submit a minority report.   I'm looking for clarity if RONR allows an individual, not part of a group of committee members, to request to present a minority report. Yes, I understand it would require a second, but that does not mean the second is part of the group of committee members. 

Scenario: A committee overwhelmingly approves a report with a recommendation to be presented to the assembly (likely in the 90% approval range). Two individual members do not concur with the report nor the recommendation coming forward. They also do not concur with each others reasoning. Each therefore are wanting to request to present minority reports to the assembly which include recommendations. They are not interested in simply voting against the proposed wording nor amending it. They are wanting to go the minority report route.

I don't think the rule you are citing actually prevents a submission from a "group of one."

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Thank you Josh.

When I read RONR I read it very literally and take note of what is not stated also. Normally the authors are very purposeful in what they write and how they write it. I agree that the assembly might be less likely to grant the request by a single member. I still hesitate to advise a client that an individual even has an option to put such a request forward. While I can cite the passage stating a minority report is an expression of views in the name of a group of committee members, I cannot cite a passage suggesting an individual can request to present a minority report. 51.71 may be an alternative solution to consider as I don't believe the individual member has an issue with the entire report but rather specified sections of it and the recommendation attached.  

 

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