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Decision No. 596

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May 02 1988
In Re: Request for Ruling in Relation to 906.12.

Digest of Case

On May 2, 1988, following a vote of the General Conference six questions dealing with 906.12 were referred to the Judicial Council. None of the questions deals with the constitutionality of an act of the General Conference which may be referred to the Judicial Council by a one-fifth vote of the General Conference. (Par. 2617.1) Par. 2609 which provides for an appeal to the Judicial Council by a one-third vote does not apply since it concerns only actions of General Conference and Jurisdictional and Central Conference boards and bodies. The request is in the form of a petition for the Judicial Council to make a ruling in the nature of a declaratory decision "as to the constitutionality, meaning, application, or effect of the Discipline or any portion thereof . . . " (2615. 1) In order for the Judicial Council to accept jurisdiction of the petition it must be made by the requesting body, in this case the General Conference. Since there is no language providing for other than a majority vote in the reference of a matter for declaratory decision in either the Discipline or the Rules of Order (see Rule 25, Rules of Order 1988 General Conference, Advanced DCA B-18) it requires a majority of those voting in the General Conference to refer a matter for declaratory decision to the Judicial Council. According to the record the vote of reference was: for 466, against 471.This is not a majority and thus the matter was improperly referred to the Judicial Council and we have no jurisdiction.

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