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Vacancies blocking quorum


J. J.
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My error on the third; it first appeared in the fourth. 

From what I can tell, Gen. Robert invented the application where ratify could be used to approve something done at an inquorate meeting.  It was not in Jefferson nor the first edition of Cushing. 

Based on the example in PL, p. 13 and what he said in Q&A 107, intended ratify to be completely retroactive.  I suspect, looking at the timing, he did it because of something that happened in the US House.

The PL example is of delegates to a convention being approved by an inquorate meeting.  The delegates would presumably be counted in the quorum of the convention and vote, prior to their election of delegates being ratified.

Edited by J. J.
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On 8/31/2022 at 9:15 AM, J. J. said:

My error on the third; it first appeared in the fourth. 

From what I can tell, Gen. Robert invented the application where ratify could be used to approve something done at an inquorate meeting.  It was not in Jefferson nor the first edition of Cushing. 

Based on the example in PL, p. 13 and what he said in Q&A 107, intended ratify to be completely retroactive.  I suspect, looking at the timing, he did it because of something that happened in the US House.

The PL example is of delegates to a convention being approved by an inquorate meeting.  The delegates would presumably be counted in the quorum of the convention and vote, prior to their election of delegates being ratified.

As best I can determine, no one participating in any part of this discussion has argued that any of the motions to ratify mentioned in your statement of facts would not have retroactive effect had they been validly adopted.  

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On 8/31/2022 at 9:46 AM, Dan Honemann said:

As best I can determine, no one participating in any part of this discussion has argued that any of the motions to ratify mentioned in your statement of facts would not have retroactive effect had they been validly adopted.  

There were some questions raised about if, especially Mr. Elsman on the first page, and Mr. Gerber clarified his comment.   So ratify does have retroactive effect and point of order can no longer be raised that the action was void because it was adopted at an inquorate meeting.

In 1915, Gen. Robert invented this application for ratify where it would approve some act taken in the absence of a quorum.  This application was not a congressional practice.  Gen. Robert noted, in his example in PL, that the retroactive effect would apply to appointing delegates that would count toward the quorum of a convention.  I believe he did this intentionally as a balance for societies where a call of the house could not be ordered. 

Robert was clearly aware of the attempt to break the quorum in the US House in early 1890, and that he was looking for a counterbalance for assemblies that could not enforce a quorum. 

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On 9/2/2022 at 8:19 AM, J. J. said:

In 1915, Gen. Robert invented this application for ratify where it would approve some act taken in the absence of a quorum.  This application was not a congressional practice.  Gen. Robert noted, in his example in PL, that the retroactive effect would apply to appointing delegates that would count toward the quorum of a convention.  I believe he did this intentionally as a balance for societies where a call of the house could not be ordered. 

I don't know whether or not General Robert "invented" the motion to ratify, but I do know that he very clearly indicated, both in ROR and in PL, that the validity of action taken in the absence of a quorum (other than that which is expressly permitted) is entirely dependent on subsequent ratification by the assembly at a meeting at which a quorum is present. If such ratification is not forthcoming, such action remains null and void, and those who took that action may be held accountable where appropriate. This is also the rule today.

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And by the way, the example the General used on page 13 of PL has absolutely nothing to do with attempting to ensure the presence of a quorum at the state convention referred to.  The society referred to in the example is obviously a constituent unit of a larger state organization, and this unit wanted to be represented at the convention.  A quorum would be present at the state convention regardless of whether or not the society sent its delegates.

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On 9/2/2022 at 9:32 AM, Dan Honemann said:

I don't know whether or not General Robert "invented" the motion to ratify, but I do know that he very clearly indicated, both in ROR and in PL, that the validity of action taken in the absence of a quorum (other than that which is expressly permitted) is entirely dependent on subsequent ratification by the assembly at a meeting at which a quorum is present. If such ratification is not forthcoming, such action remains null and void, and those who took that action may be held accountable where appropriate. This is also the rule today.

PL, p. 13, does establish a situation where delegates elected at an inquorate meeting could be counted in the quorum of a convention prior to their election as delegates being ratified.  The presumption is that the election will be ratified.

The effect of the motion to ratify goes back and makes the action taken at an inquorate meeting valid from the time it was taken at an inquorate meeting.  That is part of the function of the motion to ratify under the regular rules. 

In the example, at the point that the motion to ratify is adopted, at the instant of adoption, the is a quorum.  There are at least six members present.  There has been a quorum for the actions taken, with those members present, from the time of their appointment. 

This has nothing to do with suspending the rules; it is just how ratify works under regular rules.  Gen. Robert, in inventing this application of the motion to ratify, created a situation were a point of order cannot be raised that quorum was not present when the action was initially taken after ratification.  He created a retroactive effect. 

You have made an assumption that there was not a quorum present when the action was ratified.  I am saying that assumption  is wrong. 

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On 9/6/2022 at 8:36 AM, J. J. said:

In the example, at the point that the motion to ratify is adopted, at the instant of adoption, the is a quorum.  There are at least six members present.  There has been a quorum for the actions taken, with those members present, from the time of their appointment. 

But how can the motion to Ratify even be considered, much less voted upon, in the absence (as yet) of a quorum?

 

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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On 9/6/2022 at 6:36 AM, J. J. said:

I am saying that assumption  is wrong. 

I don't see how it could be. The acceptance of the resignations and the election of replacements cannot be valid until those actions are ratified. And they can't be ratified in the absence of a quorum. You can't rely on the (as yet) invalid actions to meet the quorum requirement.

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I'm going to close this topic now, as it seems it is going back into some kind of infinite loop. If Dan wants to respond or to reopen it, he has the ability to do so. Anyone who is not a moderator would have to start a new topic if necessary (although at this point I doubt it would be productive).

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