[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 3. Appeals]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                           CHAPTER 3 - APPEALS

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

  Sec. 1. In General; Forms
  Sec. 2. When in Order
  Sec. 3. When Not in Order
  Sec. 4. Debate on Appeal
  Sec. 5. Motions
  Sec. 6. Withdrawal
  Sec. 7. Effect of Adjournment
        Research References
          5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6877, 6938-6952
          8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3435, 3452-3458
          Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 13
          Manual Sec. Sec. 379, 627-629, 641, 844, 902, 903

  Sec. 1 . In General; Forms

      The right to appeal from a decision of the Chair on a question of 
  order is derived from the English Parliament and is recognized under 
  rule I clause 5, which dates from 1789. Manual Sec. Sec. 379, 627, 
  629. This right of appeal, which may be invoked by any Member, 
  protects the House against arbitrary control by the Speaker. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 6002.

      Member: I respectfully appeal from the decision of the Chair.
      Chair: The question is, shall the decision of the Chair stand as 
    the judgment of the House [or the Committee]?

      An appeal is debatable but is subject to the motions for the 
  previous question or to table in the House. Sec. Sec. 4, 5, infra. In 
  the Committee of the Whole, an appeal is subject to the motion to 
  limit debate or to rise and report. Manual Sec. 629.
      The vote on the appeal may be taken by record vote. 98-2, June 26, 
  1984, p 18861. A majority vote sustains the ruling appealed from. 
  Manual Sec. 971. The weight of precedent indicates that a tie vote 
  (especially where the Chair has not voted to make the tie) sustains 
  the ruling as well. 4 Hinds Sec. 4569; 5 Hinds Sec. 6957. The Chair 
  may vote to make or break a tie and

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  may cast a vote in favor of his own decision. 4 Hinds Sec. 4569; 5 
  Hinds Sec. Sec. 5686, 6956. An appeal from a ruling of the Chair goes 
  only to the propriety of the ruling; the vote thereon should not be 
  interpreted as a vote on the merits of the issue at hand. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 31 Sec. 13.2.


  Sec. 2 . When in Order

      Rule I clause 5 provides the right of appeal from decisions of the 
  Speaker on questions of order. Examples of appeals from decisions of 
  the Chair include the following:

     The priority of business. 5 Hinds Sec. 6952.
     Whether a certain motion or resolution gives rise to a 
         question of privilege. Manual Sec. 713.
     The propriety of an exhibit. Manual Sec. 622.
     Whether a Member has engaged in personalities in debate. 
         Manual Sec. 622.

      An appeal may also be taken from the ruling of the Chairman of the 
  Committee of the Whole on a question of order. Manual Sec. 971. For 
  example, an appeal may be taken from a ruling of the Chair on the 
  germaneness of an amendment or that an amendment proposes to change a 
  portion of the bill already passed in the reading. Deschler-Brown Ch 
  31 Sec. 13.7; 105-1, Sept. 25, 1997, p ____.
      An appeal is in order during a call of the House. 6 Cannon 
  Sec. 681.


  Sec. 3 . When Not in Order

      The Speaker's decision on a question of order is not subject to an 
  appeal if the decision is one that falls within the discretionary 
  authority of the Chair. For example, an appeal may not be entertained 
  from the following decisions:

     Chair's decision on recognition. 2 Hinds Sec. Sec. 1425-1428; 
         8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 2429, 2646, 2762.
     Chair's decision on dilatoriness of motions. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. 5731.
     Chair's count of the number rising to demand tellers, a 
         recorded vote, or the yeas and nays. Manual Sec. 629; 8 Cannon 
         Sec. 3105.
     Chair's call of a voice vote. Manual Sec. 629.
     Chair's refusal to recapitulate a vote. 8 Cannon Sec. 3128.
     Chair's count of a quorum. Manual Sec. 629.
     Chair's determination that a Member's time in debate has 
         expired. Manual Sec. 629.
     Chair's response to a parliamentary inquiry. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. 6955; 8 Cannon Sec. 3457.


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      An appeal from a ruling of the Chair declining to consider the 
  question of the constitutionality of a provision is not in order. The 
  question of the constitutionality of a provision in a pending measure 
  is a matter for the House to determine by its vote on the merits, 
  rather than by voting on a possible appeal from the Chair's decision 
  declining to rule on that constitutional issue. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 
  Sec. 13.1.
      An appeal from a ruling of the Chair is not in order if the effect 
  of the appeal, if sustained, would be to change a rule of the House, 
  such as where the underlying rule does not involve discretion on the 
  part of the Chair. Thus, the Speaker's refusal under rule XX clause 
  7(a) to entertain a point of order of no quorum when a pending 
  question has not been put to a vote is not subject to an appeal, 
  because that rule contains an absolute and unambiguous prohibition 
  against such a point of order. To allow an appeal in such a case would 
  permit a direct change in the rule itself. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 
  Sec. 13.5.

                       Untimely or Dilatory Appeals

      An appeal is not in order if it is dilatory. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5715-5722; 8 Cannon Sec. 2822. An appeal also is not in 
  order if it is untimely. An appeal is not in order:

     While another appeal is pending. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6939-6941.
     On a question on which an appeal has just been decided. 4 
         Hinds Sec. 3036; 5 Hinds Sec. 6877.
     During a call of the yeas and nays. 5 Hinds Sec. 6051.
     Between the motion to adjourn and vote thereon. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. 5361.
     From a question on which an appeal has just been decided. 4 
         Hinds Sec. 3036; 5 Hinds Sec. 6877.


  Sec. 4 . Debate on Appeal

      Appeals are customarily subject to debate, both in the House and 
  the Committee of the Whole (8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3453-3455), with 
  recognition being at the discretion of the Chair (8 Cannon Sec. 2347). 
  However, debate is not in order on an appeal from a ruling of the 
  Chair on the priority of business (5 Hinds Sec. 6952) or on a ruling 
  as to the relevancy of debate (5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5056-5063).
      Debate in the House on an appeal is under the hour rule but may be 
  closed at any time by the adoption of a motion for the previous 
  question or to lay on the table. Manual Sec. 629. Debate on an appeal 
  in the Committee of the Whole is under the five-minute rule and may be 
  closed by motion to close debate or to rise and report. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 6947, 6950; 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 2347, 3453-3455.

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      Members may speak but once on appeal, unless by permission of the 
  House, the Chair alternating between those favoring and those 
  opposing. Manual Sec. 627; 8 Cannon Sec. 3455.
      It is not in order in debating an appeal to discuss the merits of 
  the proposition under consideration at the time the decision was made. 
  5 Hinds Sec. 5055.


  Sec. 5 . Motions

      Although an appeal is debatable, it is normally disposed of in the 
  House without debate by a motion to lay the appeal on the table. If 
  the motion to table is adopted, the appeal is disposed of adversely 
  and the ruling of the Speaker is sustained. Thus, an appeal from the 
  Speaker's decision--that a resolution did not present a question of 
  the privileges of the House--has been laid on the table. See, e.g., 
  Manual Sec. 706. The House has tabled a motion to reconsider the vote 
  whereby an appeal from a decision of the Chair was laid on the table. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 13.16. An appeal in Committee of the Whole 
  may not be laid on the table, because that motion does not lie in the 
  Committee. 4 Hinds Sec. 4719.
      Other motions that may be offered pending an appeal include:

     A motion to postpone the appeal to a day certain (in the 
         House). 8 Cannon Sec. 2613.
     A motion for the previous question (in the House). 5 Hinds 
         Sec. 6947.
     A motion to close or limit debate (in the Committee of the 
         Whole). 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6947, 6950.
     A motion that the Committee rise and report to the House. 8 
         Cannon Sec. 3453.


  Sec. 6 . Withdrawal

      An appeal may be withdrawn at any time before action thereon by 
  the House. 5 Hinds Sec. 5354. An appeal can be withdrawn before the 
  question is put on a motion to lay the appeal on the table. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 31 Sec. 13.10. Ordering the yeas and nays on a motion to lay 
  an appeal on the table has been held sufficient House action as to 
  preclude withdrawal. 5 Hinds Sec. 5354.


  Sec. 7 . Effect of Adjournment

      An appeal pending at adjournment at the end of the day ordinarily 
  comes up for consideration on the next legislative day. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 6945. However, an appeal pending at adjournment on a day set 
  apart for Private Calendar business and related to private business 
  goes over to the next day

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  provided for consideration of business on the Private Calendar. Where 
  the House has adjourned and reconvened to meet again on the same 
  calendar day and the call of the Private Calendar is still in order, 
  the appeal comes up as unfinished business. 97-1, Nov. 17, 1981, pp 
  27772, 27773.