Memorandum Number 220


October 29, 1964

Constitutionality of Plan of Action Under Amendment IX of the Constitution Adopted By The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference Recommending Transfer of Central Jurisdiction Annual Conferences Under Certain Conditions


Upon the request of the College of Bishops of the Central Jurisdiction our decision in the above captioned appeal is postponed pending further oral argument and consideration. Case set for further hearing in Evanston, Illinois on April 22, 1965.

Statement of Facts

We have granted the request of the College of Bishops of the Central Jurisdiction for two reasons. First, the time interval between the receipt of the briefs for petitioner and our annual meeting afforded no reasonable opportunity for representatives of the Central Jurisdiction to file reply briefs or to participate in oral argument with proper preparation. Secondly, petitioner's briefs have placed new interpretations upon (a) the scope and purpose of the challenged "plan of action," (b) the legal issues sought to be raised, and (c) the grounds of our jurisdiction, with the result that there must be a clarification of these matters before we can properly determine this appeal.

We are concerned by the fact that in petitioner's brief, for the first time, expressly at least, we are asked to determine the important question whether the General Conference possesses any authority under the Constitution to determine, change or otherwise deal with the boundaries of Annual Conferences, particularly Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction transferred pursuant to Amendment IX. We believe that a matter of this importance should not come before us indirectly, obliquely, or uncertainly or without full and complete opportunity for all concerned to participate by brief and argument in our determination of this question.

We would welcome the filing of an appropriate petition under Par. 914 of the Discipline squarely and directly raising this or any other related question of constitutionality which either the Southeastern Jurisdiction or the Central Jurisdiction may deem to be involved in the above captioned appeal. Should any such petition for declaratory decision be filed we urge its submission to us at least 40 days prior to our scheduled meeting on April 22, 1965.

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