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Decision No. 615

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April 20 1989
In Re: Constitutionality of Discipline Paragraph 627 Requiring the Jurisdictional Conference Journal to Be Printed by The United Methodist Publishing House.

Digest of Case

Par. 627 is consistent with the Constitution which provides that the General Conference shall have full legislative power over all matters distinctively connectional.

Statement of Facts

The 1988 session of the South Central Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church petitioned the Judicial Council as follows: Whereas Par. 626.2 of the 1984 Book of Discipline has been amended by the 1988 General Conference to read as follows: for the sake of convenience and uniformity of (sic) the (Jurisdictional Conference) Journal, when printed, should conform in page, size, and format to the General Conference Journal, and the printing shall be done at the expense of the Jurisdiction by the United Methodist Publishing House. Therefore, the South Central Jurisdictional Conference meeting in session July 14, 1988 petitions the Judicial Council to issue a declaratory ruling on the validity or constitutionality of Par. 626.2 JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2615. ANALYSIS The issue before the Judicial Council concerns Par. 627 of the 1988 Discipline which states: The Jurisdictional Conference shall keep an official journal of its proceedings, duly signed by the secretary and president or secretary of the College of Bishops, which shall be deposited in accordance with Paragraph 1714 and with the secretary of the General Conference. The printing shall be done at the expense of the jurisdiction by The United Methodist Publishing House. The provisions of this paragraph are to become effective upon adjournment of the 1988 General Conference. Par. 15 of the Constitution provides that, "The General Conference shall have full legislative power over all matters distinctively connectional . . ." The printing of Jurisdictional Conference Journals is alluded to in Par. 905.4(c) which states: All official statistical forms, record forms and record books required for use in The United Methodist Church shall be printed and published by The United Methodist Publishing House. Par. 1714 states: Printing for Church Agencies. -"It is recommended that the general agencies and institutions of The United Methodist Church have all their printing done by The United Methodist Publishing House." Questions of the wisdom, efficiency, quality, economy or the competitive bidding process are not before the Judicial Council. The only question is whether the General Conference has such authority. We hold that the General Conference does possess such authority.

Decision

Par. 627 is constitutional in that the Constitution provides that the General Conference has full legislative power over all matters distinctively connectional. (See Par. 15.)

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