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Decision No. 467

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October 26 1979
In Re: Nomination by the Annual Conferences of Basic Members of the Program Boards Under Par. 804.

Digest of Case

A Jurisdictional Conference may suggest a plan to receive nominations from the Annual Conferences for consideration in the election of basic members of the General Boards and Agencies. The plan may provide for multiple nominations of a pool of persons or a general "Slate", so long as the plan does not abridge or restrict the right of the Annual Conference to nominate. The proposal approved by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference does not violate the Constitution or Discipline or the rights of the Annual Conferences and is, therefore, valid.

Statement of Facts

The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of 1976 received a report from its Committee on Nominations including the following suggestion: 4. That each Annual Conference submit a slate of possible general agency nominees, two times the number of probable positions available to the Conference, as determined by the agreed-on formula. The nominees of the General Council on Ministries are to be included in the slate. The slate will, as far as possible, contain clergy, male and female, laywomen, laymen, youth, young adults, and ethnic minority groups. The persons nominated will list the boards and agencies in rank order of their preference of service... (1976 SEJ Journal, page 107) An admendment was presented and adopted to authorize the Jurisdictional Young Adult organization to recommend the young adult representative to the General Council on Ministries. The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction on March 15, 1979, voted to seek a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council on clarification of the election of persons to the General Boards and Agencies by the Jurisdictional Conference and the application of Par. 804 to these actions. The particular question raised was: Can a pool of persons be submitted by the Annual Conference for the consideration of the Committee on Nominations, or must the Annual Conference submit nominations to the Jurisdictional Conference for specific boards and agencies? JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2515 of the Discipline. ANALYSIS The Constitution (Par. 26.3) delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference the authority to choose their representatives on the general boards in such manner as the General Conference may determine. The Discipline further directs that "The Jurisdictional Conference shall adopt its own procedures, rules, and plan of organization". (Par. 627) The right of nomination, however, has been given to the Annual Conference. Par. 804.1 states: The basic membership of the program boards shall be nominated by the Annual Conferences and shall be elected by the Jurisdictional Conferences. Each jurisdiction shall elect twelve persons for membership: four laymen, four laywomen, and four clergy in full connection. At least one of the clergy shall be a woman. (Par. 804.3 and 5 further define age and ethnic and racial minority considerations in this selection process.) The proposal at issue provides for Annual Conferences to nominate a general list of persons with the Jurisdictional Committee on Nominations processing specific nominations for specific boards. The question is: Does this procedureviolate the provision of Par. 804 authorizing the Annual Conferences to nominate persons for basic membership on the program boards? If the Jurisdictional Conference attempted to restrict or limit the right of an Annual Conference as to the number or nature of nominations it could make there could well be a problem. The General Conference has entrusted to the Annual Conferences the right to submit nominations to the Jurisdictional Conference for election by the latter and has imposed no restrictions on that right. The proposal, however, was not a requirement but a suggestion. The Annual Conference may submit a pool of persons for consideration of the Jurisdictional Conference Committee on Nominations. It may also, either alternatively or in addition, submit nominations for specific Boards and Agencies.

Decision

A Jurisdictional Conference may suggest a plan to receive nominations from the Annual Conferences for consideration in the election of basic members of the General Boards and Agencies. The plan may provide for multiple nominations of a pool of persons or a general "Slate", so long as the plan does not abridge or restrict the right of the Annual Conference to nominate. The proposal approved by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference does not violate the Constitution or Discipline or the rights of the Annual Conferences and is, therefore, valid.

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