Judicial Council Decisions Search
Decision No. 593
April 24 1988
In Re: Precedence of 810.3 or 1702 as it Relates to Eligibility for Consecutive Quadrennial Membership on General Agencies.
Digest of Case
Par. 810.3 does not conflict with 1702 (General Board of Publication) in regard to the election of its members which occurred prior to the close of the 1984 General Conference but 810.3 applies to elections that occur subsequent to the effective date of the legislation.
Statement of Facts
Two members were elected to the General Board of Publication until 1992 under 1802 or the 1980 Discipline, now numbered 1702. In 1984, General Conference enacted an amendment to 810.3 declaring ineligible for election to a general agency in the succeeding quadrennium any person who has served as a voting member of general agencies for four consecutive quadrennia, effective at the close of the 1984 General Conference. The two board members whose tenure is in question were declared ineligible to serve beyond 1988 by the Secretary of the Council of Bishops and the Secretary of the General Conference. The General Board of Publication at its October 1987 meeting voted to ask the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision in regard to the tenure of the two members in question. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under 2615 of the 1984 Discipline. ANALYSIS The 1984 General Conference enacted 810.3 which prohibits the election of a voting member to a general agency who has already served four consecutive quadrennia. Members of the episcopacy are exempted. That legislation did not abrogate any elections that occurred prior to its effective date, the close of the 1984 General Conference. The 1980 General Conference enacted what is now 1702 which provided that membership on the General Board of Publication shall be for classes of one to three quadrennia. In effect, this meant that General Board of Publication members could serve for three consecutive quadrennia as opposed to two consecutive quadrennia for all other general agencies. 810.3 does not conflict with 1702 because there is no express language that prevents service on a general agency for more than four consecutive quadrennia but the prohibition contained in the legislation addresses future elections. The two board members in question were elected prior to the effective date of the legislation which restricts tenure. The language is neither vague nor ambiguous and there is nothing contained therein from which we can infer an intent to invalidate to nullify past elections. The express intent contained in the legislation prohibits elections in subsequent quadrennia and does not invalidate or curtail a term of a valid election that was held in a previous quadrennium.
Par. 810.3 which limits tenure on general agencies to four consecutive quadrennia does not conflict with 1702 (General Board of Publication) insofar as it relates to the service of members who were elected to that agency prior to the close of the 1984 General Conference but 810.3 is applicable to elections that occur subsequent to that date.