[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 110th Congress]
[110th Congress]
[House Document 109-157]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[Page 172]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                             sec. xv--order

Sec. 351. Precedent in Parliament and the House. In Parliament, ``instances make order,'' per Speaker Onslow. 2 Hats., 141. But what is done only by one Parliament, cannot be called custom of Parliament, by Prynne. 1 Grey, 52.
In the House the Clerk is required to note all questions of order and the decisions thereon and print the record thereof as an appendix to the Journal (clause 2 of rule II). The Parliamentarian has the responsibility for compiling and updating the precedents (2 U.S.C. 28). The Committee Reform Amendments of 1974 gave the Speaker the responsibility to prepare an updated compilation of such precedents every two years (H. Res. 988, 93d Cong., Oct. 8, 1974, p. 34470). The Speaker feels constrained in his rulings to give precedent its proper influence (II, 1317), since the advantage of such a course is undeniable (IV, 4045). But decisions of the Speakers on questions of order are not like judgments of courts that conclude the rights of parties, but may be reexamined and reversed (IV, 4637), except on discretionary matters of recognition (II, 1425). It is rare, however, that such a reversal occurs.