Students across campus were affected by a sudden shut-down of the lights caused by a malfunctioning transformer last Tuesday. What many students missed, however, was the administrative shutdown that happened during the same night. ASUCI’s Legislative Council had called a one-week injunction that night.
The reason for this administrative injunction, which prevented any legislations from being proposed, was because there were not enough members sitting on the ASUCI Judicial Board to meet quorum.
As specified by ASUCI’s constitution, the judicial board reviews and confirms the constitutionality of any legislation approved by legislative council. If the judicial board fails to meet quorum, the legislative council can not meet until the judicial board is fully reconstituted.
Specifically Section II, Subsection D, Part 2A of the Judicial Board Policies states that “should Judicial Board fail to reach quorum, the Judicial Board Chair shall issue a temporary injunction on all ASUCI legislation until enough vacancies are filled to reach quorum.”
In the past year, ASUCI has been operating with only four out of seven members in the Judicial branch, barely meeting the quorum of at least 50 percent. However, two weeks ago, another member of the judicial board resigned due to personal reasons.
As a result, legislative council was unable to pass any legislations, including one supporting the recent BSU petition.
As specified in Article V, Section B, Part 3 of the ASUCI Constitution, the appointment of the Judicial Board members falls primarily under the duties of the ASUCI Executive Cabinet. As noted in article VI, Section C, however, in “the event that the Executive Cabinet fails to submit a (Judicial Board) nomination(s) to the Legislative Council within two weeks of the occurrence of a vacancy, nominations may be made by any ASUCI elected representative.”
While the executive cabinet has opened applications since the beginning of the academic year, they were unable to appoint any nominations.
However, with full knowledge of this issue, and in an attempt to rescue the legislative council from entering into an elongated shutdown, the current speaker pro tempore, Alvin Phan, nominated one of the only applicants, William “Joe” Barton.
In the council’s meeting last Tuesday, Joe Barton was approved to be sit on the judicial board for the next two years, in a nine to one vote, with two members of the council abstaining.
This appointment will come into effect starting Feb. 17.
It should be made clear the council has still met and followed its normal duties, aside from voting on legislations.
Two other members of the judicial board are set to complete their terms by the end of this academic year.
Meanwhile, the executive cabinet is still tasked with finding three candidates for the remaining three spots on the judicial board.