The motion to rescind is a very common one in many Societies, and in too many cases is rendered necessary by hasty and ill-advised action. The business of a Society should be so conducted as to render the necessity for its use of rare occurrence. No motion of the kind is employed in Parliament. The corresponding motion in our State Legislature and in Congress, is the motion to repeal, which may be carried by a simple majority.
In our State Legislature, to expunge any matter from the Journal, requires the unanimous vote of all present, as appears by the subjoined precedent.
From the Journal of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, March 21, 1832.
A motion was made by Mr. Waugh, that the amendments to the bill No. 458, entitled "An Act to authorise the Governor to incorporate a company for making a turnpike road from the borough of Somerset, in Somerset county, to the canal basin at Johnstown, in Cambria county, and to incorporate the Evansburg and Pierpoint turnpike road company," made in the house on second reading yesterday, except those upon which the yeas and nays were required, be expunged from the Journal.
The motion being opposed, the Speaker decided that under the constitution of the state, and the uniform practice of this house, the motion could not prevail without the unanimous consent of the members present.
Whereupon Mr. Waugh appealed from the decision of the Speaker, and on the question, "Is the Speaker right in his decision ?" it was decided in the affirmative - yeas 67, nays 22.
When a decision is made by the President, which the members believe to be contrary to rule, or out of order, any two members may make an appeal, and the question may then be argued. It is not necessary that the President should leave the chair. He may do so, however, if he prefers, and may appoint a Chairman pro tempore, or the meeting may appoint. The President will give his reasons for the deci: sion, but neither he nor any other member is allowed to speak more than once, unless by leave of the meeting. The same rule prevails, when a question of order is submitted to the meeting by the President.
The member making the appeal, is required, in all cases, to reduce the appeal to writing, which will be stated from the Chair. The appeal, together with the vote upon it, should be entered on the minutes.
On an appeal, the question before the meeting is, "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" On putting the question, if the vote be equal, and the President is in the chair, he may give the casting vote sustaining his decision. A precedent for this is found in Congressional proceedings.
When two or more members are competing for the floor, and the President gives it to one who was not the first to rise, his decision may be appealed from, and overruled by the meeting. In Parliamentary practice any decision of the presiding officer may be made the subject of appeal.
In Congress it is in order to move that an appeal from the decision of the Speaker be laid upon the table.