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Decision No. 214

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May 06 1964
In Re: Constitutionality of Legislation Adopted by the 1964 General Conference Providing for the Composition of the General Board of Pensions

Digest of Case

The legislation adopted by the 1964 General Conference as set forth in Paragraph 1602.1 providing for the composition of the General Board of Pensions is constitutional.

Statement of Facts

The 1964 General Conference adopted an amendment to Paragraph 1602.1 of the 1960 Discipline whereby it deleted the entire section and substituted therefor a new section which reads: "Paragraph 1602.1. The Board shall be composed of one bishop elected by the Council of Bishops; one minister and one layman from each Jurisdiction elected by the Jurisdictional Conference, upon nomination by the Jurisdictional Conference Committee on Nominations. "In addition there shall be four ministers and four laymen, elected by the General Conference upon nomination of the Council of Bishops, of whom no more than two shall be ministerial members of churches within the same Jurisdiction. "There shall be six additional members at large, not more than two from the same Jurisdiction, nominated and elected by the Board in such manner as it shall provide in its by-laws. "The ministerial membership of the Board shall be limited to ministers in the effective relation. "The General Secretary of the Board shall be an ex-officio member thereof without vote. "The terms of all members so elected shall be four years, to take effect at the annual meeting of the Board following the General Conference. Members shall serve during the terms for which they are elected, or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified." Immediately thereafter a motion was adopted which appears on pages 398 and 399 of the Daily Christian Advocate which has the effect of referring to the Judicial Council for a determination as to the constitutionality of that portion of the above paragraph which provides for eight members to be elected by the General Conference upon nomination of the Council of Bishops. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction in this matter under the provisions of Paragraph 904.1 of the 1960 Discipline. ANALYSIS The Judicial Council had earlier passed upon the constitutionality of a portion of Paragraph 1602.1 of the 1960 Discipline and had declared some of its provisions unconstitutional. See Judicial Council Decision 183. Reference is hereby made to the constitutional and other requirements set forth in that decision. The Constitution provides in Paragraph 8, Article IV, Section 8: "TheGeneral Conference shall have full legislative power over all matters distinctly connectional, and in the exercise of said powers shall have authority as follows:...to initiate and to direct all connectional enterprises of the church,such as publishing, evangelistic, educational, missionary, and benevolent, and to provide boards for their promotion and cultivation." This power granted to the General Conference to "provide boards" is to be construed necessarily in connection with all other provisions of the Constitution. The present legislation has eliminated the unconstitutional portions of the prior legislation and conforms with the limitations referred to in our earlier decision.

Decision

It is the decision of the Judicial Council that the legislation adopted by the General Conference (Paragraph 1602.1, 1964 Discipline) in connection with the composition of the General Board of Pensions wherein it provides for eight members to be elected by the General Conference upon nomination of the Council of Bishops is constitutional.

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