[Editor's note: This is a modified version of the original, to adapt it to the needs of an online document.]
Explanation of the Table. -- The rules at the head of the 8 columns apply to all original main motions, and to all other cases except where a star (*) or a figure indicates that the motion is an exception to these rules. The star shows that the exact opposite of the rule at the head of the column applies to the motion, and a figure refers to a note which explains the extent of the exception. For example, "Lay on the Table"; the Table shows that §28 of the Manual treats of this motion; that it is "undebatable" and "cannot be amended"; that "no subsidiary motion can be applied" to it; and that it "cannot be reconsidered"; -- the fact that the 4 other columns have no stars or figures shows that the rules at the head of these columns apply to this motion, to Lay on the Table, the same as to original main motions.
|17||*||-||*||*||*||-||-||-||1||Adjourn (when privileged)|
|54||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Adopt (Accept or Agree to) a Report|
|67||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||Adopt Constitutions, By-laws, Rules of Order|
|67||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Adopt Standing Rules|
|33||4||-||*||-||-||-||-||-||-||Amend an Amendment|
|68||-||-||-||-||2||5||-||-||-||Amend Constitutions, By-laws, Rules of Order|
|67||-||-||-||-||-||6||-||-||-||Amend Standing Rules|
|21||*||-||*||-||-||-||-||*||7||Appeal, relating to Indecorum, etc.|
|21||-||-||*||-||-||-||-||*||-||Appeal, all other cases|
|32||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||Commit or Refer, or Recommit|
|30||*||-||-||-||-||*||-||-||9||Debate, to Close, Limit, or Extend|
|25||*||-||*||*||*||-||*||*||-||Division of the Assembly|
|24||*||-||-||-||*||-||10||10||-||Division of the Question|
|16||11||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||Fix the Time to which to Adjourn|
|57||-||-||*||-||2||-||-||-||-||Informal Consideration of a Question|
|28||*||-||*||*||*||-||-||-||-||Lay on the Table|
|21||*||-||*||*||-||-||-||-||-||Leave to Continue Speaking after Indecorum|
|11||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Main Motion or Question|
|26||-||-||*||-||*||-||*||-||-||Nominations, to Make|
|26||*||-||-||-||*||*||-||-||-||Nominations, to Close|
|26||*||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||Nominations, to Reopen|
|23||*||-||*||*||2||12||*||*||-||Objection to Consideration of a Question|
|21||*||-||*||*||*||-||*||*||-||Order, Questions of|
|20||-||-||-||-||-||*||-||-||-||Order, to Make a Special|
|20||*||-||*||*||*||-||*||*||-||Orders of the Day, to Call for|
|20||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Order of the Day, when pending|
|31||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Postpone Definitely, or to a Certain Time|
|19||*||-||*||*||*||-||*||*||-||Privilege, to Raise Questions of|
|19||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Privilege, Questions of, when pending|
|18||11||-||-||-||*||-||-||-||1||Recess, to Take a (when privileged)|
|37||-||*||-||-||2||18||-||-||-||Rescind or Repeal|
|33||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Substitute (same as Amend)|
|22||*||-||*||*||*||*||-||-||-||Suspend the Rules|
|35||*||-||*||*||*||-||-||-||-||Take from the Table|
|22||*||-||*||*||*||*||-||-||-||Take up a Question out of its Proper Order|
|25||*||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||Voting, Motions relating to|
|27||*||-||*||*||2||-||*||-||-||Withdraw a Motion, Leave to|
Incidental Motions. Motions that are incidental to pending motions take precedence of them and must be acted upon first. [See 13 for list of these motions.]
No privileged of subsidiary motion can be laid on the table, postponed definitely or indefinitely, or committed. When the main question is laid on the table, etc., all adhering subsidiaries go with it.
Every one expecting to take an active part in meetings of a deliberative assembly should become sufficiently familiar with the Order of Precedence of Motions and the Table of Rules, to be able to refer to them quickly. This familiarity can only be acquired by actual practice in referring to these tables and finding the rulings on the various points covered by them in regard to various motions. These six pages contain an epitome of parliamentary law. The Order of Precedence of motions should be committed to memory, as it contains all of the privileged and subsidiary motions, 12 in number, arranged in their order of rank, and shows in regard to each motion whether it can be debated or amended, and what vote it requires, and under what circumstances it can be made.
In the Table of Rules the headings to the 8 columns are rules or principles which are applicable to all original main motions, and should be memorized. They are as follows: (1) Original Main Motions are debatable; (2) debate must be confined to the immediately pending question; (3) they can be amended; (4) all subsidiary motions can be applied to them; (5) they can be reconsidered; (6) they require only a majority vote for their adoption; (7) they must be seconded; and (8) they are not in order when another has the floor. Whenever any of the 44 motions in the Table differs from a main motion in regard to any of these rules, the exception is indicated by a star (*) or a figure in the proper column opposite that motion. A star shows that the exact opposite of the rule at the head of the column applies to the motion. A figure refers to a note which explains the extent of the exception. A blank shows that the rule at the head of the column applies, and therefore that the motion is in this respect exactly like a main motion. Some of the motions are followed by figures not in the columns: these figures refer to notes giving useful information in regard to these motions.
The Table of Rules is constructed upon the theory that it is best to learn the general principles of parliamentary law as applied to original main motions, and then to note in what respects each other motion is an exception to these general rules. Thus, the motion to postpone definitely, or to a certain time, has no stars or figures opposite it, and therefore it is subject to all of the above 8 rules the same as any main motion: to postpone indefinitely has two stars and the number 13 opposite to it, showing that the rules. at the head of these three columns do not apply to this motion. The first star shows that debate is not confined to the motion to postpone indefinitely, but that the main motion is also open to debate; the second star shows that the motion to postpone indefinitely cannot be amended; and the number 13 refers to a note which shows that a negative vote on this motion cannot be reconsidered.
As has previously been stated, a star shows that the motion, instead of being subject to the rule at the head of the column, is subject to a rule exactly the reverse. Stars in the various columns, therefore, mean that the motions are subject to the following rules: (1) undebatable; (2) opens main question to debate; (3) cannot be amended; (4) no subsidiary motion can be applied; (5) cannot be reconsidered; (6) requires a two-thirds vote; (7) does not require to be seconded; and (8) in order when another has the floor.
Maintained: of the Constitution Society
Original date: 1996/9/3 —
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