[§§ 14-18; see § 8]
14. Appeal [Questions of Order]. A Question of Order takes precedence of the question giving rise to it, and must be decided by the presiding officer without debate. If a member objects to the decision, he says, "I appeal from the decision of the Chair." If the Appeal is seconded, the Chairman immediately states the question as follows: "Shall the decision of the Chair stand as the judgement of the assembly?"* [The word Assembly can be replaced by Society, Convention, Board, etc., according to the name of the organization.] This Appeal yields to Privileged Questions [§ 9]. It cannot be amended; it cannot be debated when it relates simply to indecorum [§ 36], or to transgressions of the rules of speaking, or to the priority of business, or if it is made while the previous question [§ 20] is pending. When debatable, no member is allowed to speak but once, and whether debatable or not, the presiding officer, without leaving the
Chair, can state the reasons upon which he bases his decision. The motions to Lie on the Table [§ 19], or for the Previous Question [§ 20], can be applied to an Appeal, when it is debatable, and when adopted they affect nothing but the Appeal. The vote on an Appeal may also be reconsidered [§ 27]. An Appeal is not in order when another Appeal is pending.
It is the duty of the presiding officer to enforce the rules and orders of the assembly, without debate or delay. It is also the right of every member, who notices a breach of a rule to insist upon its enforcement. In such cases he shall rise from his seat, and say, "Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order." The speaker should immediately take his seat, and the Chairman requests the member to state his point of order, which he does, and resumes his seat. The Chair decides the point, and then, if no appeal is taken, permits the first member to resume his speech. If the member's remarks are decided to be improper, and any one objects to his continuing his speech, he cannot continue it without a vote of the assembly to that effect. Instead of the method just described, it is usual, when it is simply a case of improper language used in debate, for a member to say, "I call the gentleman to order;" the Chairman decides whether the speaker is in or out of order, and proceeds as before. The Chairman can ask the advice of members when he has to decide questions of order, but the advice must be given sitting, to avoid the appearance of debate; or the Chair, when unable to decide the question, may at once submit it to the assembly. The effect of laying an appeal on the table, is to sustain, at least for the time, the decision of the Chair, and does not carry to the table the question which gave rise to the question of order.
15. Objection to the Consideration of a Question. An objection can be made to any principal motion [§ 6], but only when it is first introduced, before it has been debated. It is similar to a question of order [§ 14,] in that it can be made while another member has the floor, and does not require a second; and as the Chairman can call a member to order, so can he put this question if he deems it necessary, upon his own responsibility. It can not be debated [§ 35] or have any subsidiary motion [§ 7] applied to it. When a motion is made and any member "objects to its consideration," the Chairman shall immediately put the question, "Will the assembly consider it?" or, "Shall the question be considered" [or discussed]? If decided in the negative by a two-thirds vote [§ 39], the whole matter is dismissed for that session [§ 42]; otherwise the discussion continues as if this question had never been made.
The Object of this motion is not to cut off debate (for which other motions are provided, see § 37), but to enable the assembly to avoid altogether any question which it may deem irrelevant, unprofitable or contentious.* [In Congress, the introduction of such questions could be temporarily prevented by a majority vote under the 41st Rule of the House of Representatives, which is as follows: "Where any motion or proposition is made, the question, 'Will the House now consider it?' shall not be put unless it is demanded by some member, or is deemed necessary by the Speaker." The English use the "Previous Question," for a similar purpose [see note to § 20]. The question of consideration is seldom raised in Congress, but in assemblies with very short sessions, where but few questions can or should be considered, it seems a necessity that two-thirds of the assembly should be able to instantly throw out a question they do not wish to consider. The more common form, in ordinary societies, of putting this question, is, "Shall the question be discussed?" The form to which preference is given in the rule conforms more to the Congressional one, and is less liable to be misunderstood.]
Reading Papers. [For the order of precedence, see § 8.] Where papers are laid before the assembly, every member has a right to have them once read before he can be compelled to vote on them, and whenever a member asks for the reading of any such paper, evidently for information, and not for delay, the Chair should direct it to be read, if no one objects. But a member has not the right to have anything read (excepting stated above) without getting permission from the assembly.