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Memorandum No. 888

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May 09 2000
In Re: Request From General Conference for a Declaratory Decision on the Meaning, Application and Effect of the Adoption of Petition #31789 as It Relates to the Election of a Person to the Judicial Council to Fill the Remaining Four Years of an Existing Eight Year Term.

Digest of Case

The General Conference, by its own action in the adoption of Petition # 31789-GJ-2602-D, has negated the election of the person to fill the remaining four years of the eight-year term.

Statement of Facts

In 1996, a person was duly elected to an eight-year term on the Judicial Council. This person would have been required to step down at the close of the 2000 General Conference pursuant to Par. 2602 of the 1996 Discipline which states in pertinent part: "...a member of the council whose seventieth (70) birthday precedes the first day of the regular session of a General Conference shall be released at the close of that General Conference from membership or responsibility in the council, regardless of the date of expiration of office." On May 5, 2000, the General and Judicial Administration Legislative Committee adopted Petition #31789-GJ-2602-D without amendment. On Tuesday, May 9, 2000, the General Conference adopted Petition #31789-GJ-2602-D without amendment. The petition reads in full: "Amend Paragraph 2602 by deleting the phrase in the first paragraph of this Paragraph with (sic) reads: 'provided, however, that a member of the council whose seventieth (70) birthday precedes the first day of the regular session of the General Conference shall be released at the close of that General Conference from membership or responsibility in the council, regardless of the date of expiration of office.' This legislation becomes effective upon adoption." On Monday, May 8, 2000, General Conference held an election for a person to fill the remaining four years of this eight year term. That person's term was to begin at the close of the 2000 General Conference. (See Par. 2605.) The General Conference referred this matter to the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision on the meaning, application and effect of the adoption of Petition #31789 as it relates to the election of a person to the Judicial Council to fill the remaining four years of an existing eight year term. The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2616. Since the term of the newly elected Judicial Council member does not begin until the close of the 2000 General Conference; and since the impediment of the Judicial Council member in office was removed by the legislative action of the General Conference, there is now no vacancy for the newly elected Judicial Council member to fill. Therefore, the General Conference, by its own action, has negated the election of the person to fill the remaining four years of the eight year term. John G. Corry recused himself and did not participate in any of the proceedings related to this decision.

Decision

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