Decision Number 60
Constitutionality of Clause in Par. 607, Discipline 1944, As to Election of Delegates to Jurisdictional Conferences by Provisional Annual Conferences
That portion of Paragraph 607, Discipline 1944, reading "and they (Provisional Annual Conferences) may elect one ministerial and one lay delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference" is unconstitutional.
Statement of Facts
At a session of the General Conference on May 7, 1948, Report No. 20, Committee on Conferences, Serial No. 207, Daily Christian Advocate, pages 279, 280, as amended, was adopted, and by vote of the General Conference, the Judicial Council was requested to determine the Constitutionality of a portion of Paragraph 607, Discipline 1944. For a more complete statement as to the question involved, see Report No. 20 as printed in the Daily Christian Advocate, and also discussion of same, Daily Christian Advocate, page 383.
Report No. 20, Committee on Conferences, presented to the General Conference at the morning session on May 7, 1948, raised the question of the constitutionality of one clause in Paragraph 607, Discipline 1944, respecting the right of Provisional Annual Conferences to elect delegates to the Jurisdictional Conferences to which they belong.
Sec. 5 of this Report stated the doubt of the General Conference in these words: "If it is now unconstitutional, certain of the delegates who have been elected to forthcoming Jurisdictional Conferences are not qualified to be seated and should be informed as soon as possible."
By a vote of 627 to none the legislative portion of Report No. 20 was adopted. The question of constitutionality was then referred to the Judicial Council by a vote of the required number of the members of the General Conference. The question is therefore properly before the Judicial Council for determination.
It is evident on the basis of the clear language of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Judicial Council in a previous case, "In Re: Election of Delegates to Jurisdictional Conferences by Mission Conferences" May 2, 1940 (See Judicial Council Decision No. 5), that the clause in Par. 607 reading: "and they[Provisional Annual Conferences] may elect one ministerial and one lay delegate to the Jurisdictional Conferences" is unconstitutional, and that elections held under the supposed authority of this clause are not valid.