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Nap Time!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Ha! You lose, Senate

So, as I mentioned, Ross Lingenfelder did not have a 2/3 majority to get the appointment to Solicitor General, but because it was a voice vote, nobody counted.

Later on, a motion to reconsider was made and passed by unanimous consent. After a bunch of discussion, his appointment failed, as I knew it would.

So yes, it turns out that the motion which passed by voice vote without any debate at all required a bunch of debate and failed once people actually had to take responsibility for their actions. I hope this serves as a reminder that these are not just technicalities.

As to whether a motion to reconsider an appointment is legal... another excellent question. I'm inclined to say that it isn't. Once an appointment is made, can it be unmade? Or does it not take effect until after the meeting finishes? I believe the answer to both questions is no. (Also, Ross wasn't there anymore to be part of that debate)

In other news, this probably means that the Senate is unable to conduct business until they appoint a Solicitor General. It also means Taylor Allbright should have appointed an interim Solicitor General. I'll see if I can find out if this was done.

(In further other news, next week is the deadline for appointing an Elections Council Chair)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 10/11/2007 10:05:00 PM #
Comments (2)
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Well, it's a parliamentary question here. In Robert's Rules, any motion may be reconsidered by a member who voted with the prevailing side. However, since the vote was viva voce, we have to take on faith that the motion maker voted with the prevailing side on the nominaiton.

In general, the motion to reconsider can be made only on the same day, or on the next legislative day.

However, it is also general parliamentary practice that it is not in order to re-consider an affirmative vote of a motion to "elect to membership or office if the member or officer is present and does not decline, or if absent and has learned of his election in the usual way and has not declined."

Also, there being concern that the motion had not obtained two-thirds. If a point of order is raised later that the motion had not obtained two-thirds to agree to the nomination, the point of order should be held out of order as untimely. If there is a question as to whether a voice vote has achieved the necessary majority, a call for division should be requested at the time of the vote before the chair finalizes the vote with "I think the AYEs have it and the AYEs have it."

However, I'm not sure which parliamentary manual is used by the ASUC, and any by-law or article of the constitution overrides any portion of a parliamentary manual. But you knew that.
The ASUC Senate uses Robert's Rules. The question of whether or not the person received two thirds was raised by an observer (me), so obviously there was no call for division.

That said, there is a viewpoint that, in an externally regulated representative Senate, the rules of order that limit the ability to check rule compliance to the Senate itself are invalid. This is also supported by the ASUC Constitution in denying the Senate the ability to suspend the By-Laws, even by unanimous consent, without one week notice.

This sequence of events is fairly interesting, because I don't think there's a consistent interpretation of the By-Laws which allows it.
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