A motion to adjourn is not in order, 1. When a member is speaking. 2. When a vote is being taken on any question. 3. A motion to adjourn being negatived, cannot be renewed until some other proposition is made, or other business transacted.
Hatsell says: - "A motion to adjourn, simply, cannot be amended, as by adding to a particular day, but must be put simply, that the House do now adjourn ; and if carried in the affirmative, it is adjourned to the next sitting day, unless it has previously agreed upon a resolution that at its rising it will adjourn to a particular day, and then the House is adjourned to that day." occasion, 5, to a question of privilege, and this leads, 6, to a motion to lie on the table. In this state of affairs, Mr. Cushing remarks, that the course of proceeding in the Massachusetts Legislature, is to put the motion to lie on the table first; if this is negatived, the question of privilege is then settled; after that comes the question of order; then the question of commitment; if that is negatived, the question of amendment is taken, and lastly the main question.
A motion to adjourn to a day certain is debatable, and may be amended as regards the day named. If a question is put for adjournment, it is no adjournment until the President announces it, and from courtesy and respect, no member should leave his place until the adjournment is formally announced.
It is entirely in order, according to Parliamentary usage, when desirous of suspending business, to adjourn for a short time, and then resume business, on a simple motion.
Should a motion to adjourn be made and carried, during the consideration of a resolution or proposition, and before any vote is taken, the subject before the Society is thereby removed, and it will not stand before the next stated meeting, as a matter of course, as the first business of the meeting, but its place will be among the unfinished business, of which it will be the first in order.
From the Journal of the U, S. House of Representatives, May 22, 1834.
A motion was made by Mr. Clayton, that the House do adjourn, and the question being put, it was decided in the negative.
A motion was then made by Mr. Miller, that the further consideration of the subject matter before the House be postponed until Tuesday, the 27th inst. And after debate thereon, and the yeas and nays being demanded, Mr. Miller withdrew the said motion. And thereupon moved that the said report do lie on the table. And the yeas and nays being again demanded on the question, Mr. Miller also withdrew that motion. Whereupon, it being half past 4, P. M., Mr. McKinley moved that the House do adjourn; when an inquiry was made of the chair whether that motion was in order, as no question had been put or decided since the House had voted on a motion to adjourn.
The speaker decided that the motion was in order, and would be entertained, debate having taken place on a motion to postpone, subsequent to the decision of the question on the motion made by Mr. Clayton to adjourn; in which decision the House acquiesced. And the question was then put, "Will the House adjourn?" and passed in the affirmative.
From the Journal of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Feb. 11, 1843.
A motion was made by Mr. James, that the House do adjourn; and on the question "Will the House agree to the motion?" the yeas and nays were required by Mr. Lowry and Mr. James, and were as follows: - yeas 13 - nays 71. So the question was determined in the negative.
A motion was then made by Mr. Goodwin that the House adjourn; and on the question "Will the House agree to the motion?" the yeas and nays were required by Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Elwell, and were as follows: - yeas 19 - nays 61, so the question was determined in the negative.
A motion was then made by Mr. James that the House do adjourn. The Speaker refused to entertain the motion to adjourn- there having been two consecutive motions to adjourn, and no business of the House intervening, nor had any other business intervened at the time the motion was made.
In this case the Speaker was clearly wrong in entertaining the second motion to adjourn, such a course being directly contrary to Parliamentary and Congressional usage, as well as against the ordinary practice in all State Legislatures. If, however, there is no business which can be called up, as is the case sometimes in the commencement of a session, two consecutive motions to adjourn may be received as a matter of convenience.