Robert’s Rules of Order Revised > Subject Index > Page 273

Henry M. Robert (1837–1923).  Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  1915.

Page 273

exact points that are to be modified. The proposed amendment is a main motion, and that is the only question before the assembly. It is subject to amendments of the first and second degree, like other main motions, and no amendment that is not germane to it is in order.
A society can amend its constitution and by-laws so as to affect the emoluments and duties of officers already elected, or even to do away with the office altogether. If it is desired that the amendment should not affect officers already elected, a motion to that effect should be adopted before voting on the amendment; or the motion to amend could have added to it the proviso that it should not affect officers already elected. There is something in the nature of a contract between a society and its officers which either one can modify to some extent, or even terminate, but it must be done with reasonable consideration for the other party. A secretary, for instance, has no right to refuse to perform his duties on the ground that he has handed in his resignation. On the other hand, the society cannot compel him to continue in officer beyond a reasonable time to allow for choosing his successor.
Care should be exercised in wording the sections providing for amending the constitution, etc., to avoid such tautology as ”amend, or add to, or repeal,” or ”alter or amend,” or ”amend or in any way change.” The one word ”amend” covers any change whatever in the constitution, etc., whether it is a word or a paragraph that is added or struck out, or replaced by another word or paragraph, or whether a new constitution, etc., is substituted for the old one.

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