Constitution of the Law School Student Senate
We, the students of the University of Michigan Law School, in order to promote law student welfare, improve the quality of legal education at the University of Michigan, advance the ideals of legal education and the legal profession, provide students with an effective representative voice in the affairs of the Law School and the University, and make legal education and the legal profession more responsive to the needs of law students and the society they are preparing to serve, do hereby adopt this Constitution establishing a student government for the University of Michigan Law School.
Article I. Name
§ 1.1 Name: The name of the governing organization of the University of Michigan Law School Student Body is "The Law School Student Senate" and hereinafter designated the "Senate."
Article II. Objectives
§ 2.1 Objectives Generally: To advance the principles set forth in the Preamble, the Senate shall strive to achieve the objectives stated in this article and such other objectives consistent with this Constitution that the Senate deems appropriate.
§ 2.2 Academic Policy: The Senate shall promote the adoption by the Law School of such academic standards, procedures, and regulations that will advance student welfare, improve the quality of teaching and learning in the Law School, protect the privacy and integrity of student academic records, and provide for the best evaluation of student academic performance.
§ 2.3 Curriculum: The Senate shall promote adoption by the Law School of such curricular offerings and schedules as will best meet the needs of law students, their future clients, and the society in which they will work.
§ 2.4 Extracurricular Activities: The Senate shall implement or promote adoption by the Law School of such student fees and other Senate revenues that are necessary to provide a balanced program of educational, social, and cultural extracurricular activities for members of the Law School Student Body.
§ 2.5 Legal Reforms: The Senate shall promote adoption by organized bar and governmental bodies and officials at all levels of reforms in the legal profession and the legal system that will advance the humanitarian ideals and interests of law students, their future clients, and the democratic government and society they serve.
§ 2.6 Law Student Interests: The Senate shall provide effective representative of general law student interest and for the protection of the rights and privileges of all law students in appropriate policy-making or law-making deliberations of the Law School, of the University of Michigan, and of governmental bodies at local, state, and national levels.
§ 2.7 Ethics: The Senate shall promote awareness on the part of all law students about the social, ethical, and professional responsibilities inherent in the study and practice of law.
§ 2.8 Student Conduct: The Senate shall promulgate and enforce such policies and regulations regarding student conduct, offices, and spaces as may be deemed necessary and appropriate within the authority of a student government for legitimate ends.
§ 2.9 Facilities: The Senate shall promote useful and equitable policies for the residential, recreational, and service facilities of the Lawyers Club, the Law School, and the University of Michigan generally.
Article III. Relationship with Other Governmental and Administrative Bodies and Officials
§ 3.1 Representation: The Senate is the exclusive official governing organization representing the Law School Student Body in its entirety, though other student governments may represent a student body of which the Law School Student Body is a part.
§ 3.2 Independent Organizations: The status of the Senate as the exclusive representative of the Law School Student Body in no way abridges the rights of law students to form independent organizations or associations for the pursuit of specialized goals or for the advancement of minority interests.
§ 3.3 Sole Representative: Though not limited to the following roles, the Senate is the sole representative of the Law School Student Body in all relations with the following bodies and officials and with their successor institutions:
a) Other organizations and associations of law students at the University of Michigan;
b) Other student government bodies in the University;
c) The Lawyers Club Corporation and its Board of Governors as the student government of the Lawyers Club pursuant to the Corporation Bylaws;
d) Law School Faculty and Administration and committees constituted thereby;
e) University of Michigan Faculty, Administration, and Regents, and other University governmental bodies and administrative offices constituted under their respective authorities.
f) The American Bar Association - Law Student Division;
Article IV. Powers
§ 4.1 Resolutions: The Senate has the power to adopt and publish resolutions representing the positions of the Law School Student Body on any issue of relevance to legal education, the legal profession, the legal system, Law School policies, or University policies.
§ 4.2 Student Conduct: The Senate has the power to promulgate and enforce such policies and regulations pertaining to student conduct as may be deemed necessary and appropriate within the authority of a student government for the protection of the persons, property, and civil rights of members of the Law School Community and for the preservation within the Law School of an atmosphere conducive to free inquiry and expression.
§ 4.3 Fees and Expenditures: The Senate has the power to expend funds allocated by the Law School or generated by revenue-producing operations conducted by the Senate in ways that directly or primarily benefit programs of the Law School or members of the Law School Student Body, Faculty, or Administration; and to regulate student fees for student governments and student organizations with the restrictions imposed by the Law School or the University.
§ 4.4 Student Organizations: The Senate has the power to recognize and support independent organizations and associations of law students and to allocate Senate funds for the use of such recognized groups.
§ 4.5 Student Appointments: The Senate has the power to appoint members of the Law School Student Body to all deliberative, advisory, or study groups or committees established by the Faculty or Administration of the Law School or the University which call for law student membership; and to appoint student representatives to specific Law School Faculty meetings.
§ 4.6 Lawyers Club: The Senate has the power to review and comment upon all proposed changes in the operational policies pertaining to the residential, recreational, dining, and other service facilities and programs of the Lawyers Club; and the power, by express resolution declaring such an intent, to direct the votes of student representatives to the Board of Governors in any Board of Governors vote on an issue previously resolved by the Senate.
§ 4.7 Guests and Honors: The Senate has the power to invite guests to the Law School and to bestow recognition upon guests or members of the Law School Community on behalf of the Law School Student Body.
§ 4.8 Publications: The Senate has the power to sponsor the publication of official Law School student newspapers or periodicals.
§ 4.9 Student Body Property: The Senate has the power to purchase, regulate, and otherwise dispose of Law School Student Body property and services or property and services otherwise entrusted to the Law School Student Body, whether electronic and physical.
§ 4.10 Grievances: The Senate has the power to hear, as a committee of the whole, any grievances expressed by any member of the Law School Student Body concerning alleged unfair treatment by members of the Faculty, Administration, Senate, or other Law School student organizations; and the power to communicate findings, inquiries, and resolutions concerning grievances to the appropriate authorities or individuals.
§ 4.11 Audits: The Senate has the power to authorize or conduct an independent audit of the records of the Senate Treasurer.
§ 4.12 Committees and Auxiliary Officials: The Senate has the power to establish committees, commissions, or boards (herein collectively referred to as "committees" or as a "committee"), whether ad hoc or permanent, to develop, implement, operate, or research issues and programs entrusted to the Senate; and to establish, abolish, alter, appoint, and remove advisory and other auxiliary officials to aid the Senate in its duties.
§ 4.13 General Powers: The Senate has the general powers (subject to any limitations) set forth elsewhere in this Constitution, granted (or imposed) by bodies or officials of superior authority, or otherwise customarily and appropriately exercised by student government bodies.
Article V. Senate Composition and Terms
§ 5.1 Senate Generally: The Senate is organized as a deliberative body composed of elected officers and representatives from the Law School Student Body.
§ 5.2 Senate Composition: The elected Senate shall be composed of:
a) four executive officers,
b) one representative elected from and by each of the first-year class sections of the Law School Student Body,
c) four representatives elected from and by the second-year members of the Law School Student Body,
d) four representatives elected from and by the third-year members of the Law School Student Body,
e) one Representative elected from and by participants in the L.L.M. and S.J.D. programs,
f) one Junior Representative elected from the first-year members of the Law School Student Body and by the whole Law School Student Body to serve on the Lawyers Club Board of Governors, and
g) one Senior Representative, as defined in Section 5.5, to serve on the Lawyers Club Board of Governors.
§ 5.3 Executive Officers: The executive officers of the Senate shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The executive officers shall together comprise the Executive Board.
§ 5.4 Length of Terms: All elected Senate officers and members, excepting the Junior Representative elected to membership on the Lawyers Club Board of Governors, shall serve a term of one year or less, but each shall continue in their office until their successor assumes the office or until they are disqualified or otherwise unable to hold their office. This provision does not preclude a student from serving consecutive terms if re-elected to a Senate office, but no student shall serve on the Senate in any elected position for more than three years, and the law students enrolled in joint degree programs shall only be eligible to serve on the Senate in any elected position for a maximum of two years not including their first year.
§ 5.5 Lawyers Club Representatives: The Junior Representative to the Lawyers Club Board of Governors shall automatically succeed to the position of Senior Representative to the Lawyers Club Board of Governors in the second year immediately following, provided that the Junior Representative to the Lawyers Club Board of Governors will still be currently enrolled in the Law School during the second year as defined in Section 9.2 of this Constitution. When necessitated by vacancy, the Senior Representative to the Lawyers Club Board of Governors shall be elected from and by the whole Law School Student Body.
§ 5.6 Special Seat Allocations: The Senate may, by a two-thirds vote (excluding vacant seats), reserve one or more Senate seats representing one or more classes of law students for underrepresented segments of the Law School Student Body, including transfer students or those who start at times different from most law students. Provided, no such reservations violate University policy, Law School policy, this Constitution, principles of equity, or other superior authority.
Article VI. Authority and Duties of Executive Officers
§ 6.1 President: The President shall:
a) Preside over all meetings of the Senate.
b) Have authority to call special meetings of the Senate.
c) Have the authority to add items to the Agenda on short notice without the consent of the Senate.
d) Call and preside over meetings of the Executive Board.
e) Be responsible for implementing policies adopted by the Senate.
f) Serve as the official spokesperson of the Senate in accordance with positions officially adopted by the Senate.
g) Function as the official communication link between the Senate, the Faculty, and the Administration of the Law School and of the University.
h) Serve as ex officio member of the Lawyers Club Board of Governors.
i) Have the authority to delegate presidential authority and responsibility, when appropriate, to other members of the Senate or of the Law School Student Body.
§ 6.2 Vice President: The Vice President shall:
a) Preside over meetings of the Senate and the Executive Board at the request or in the absence of the President.
b) Assist the President in their duties.
c) Serve as parliamentary consultant upon request by the presiding officer.
d) Be responsible for implementing policies adopted by the Senate.
e) Be responsible for reporting committee and auxiliary officials who are derelict in their duties or otherwise ineffective to the Senate, for making known to the Senate openings on Faculty and Administration committees and groups at the Law School and the University, and for suggesting revisions to outdated Senate policies and codes.
f) Have the authority to delegate vice presidential authority and responsibility, when appropriate, to other members of the Senate or of the Law School Student Body.
§ 6.3 Secretary: The Secretary shall:
a) Share with the Treasurer responsibility for management of the Senate Office, supplies, and equipment.
b) Be responsible for recording and publishing the minutes of Senate meetings.
c) Be responsible for maintaining records of communications received and generated by the Senate.
d) Be responsible for maintaining records of policies and regulations adopted by the Senate; policies and reports adopted or produced by committees established by the Senate; Law School student groups accorded Senate recognition; current Senate committees and auxiliary officials; and current and past membership rolls of the Senate.
e) Function as a liaison with the various Law School student groups recognized and funded by the Senate and assemble a directory of all recognized student organizations and the respective officers of each organization.
f) Have authority to delegate any clerical or secretarial tasks associated with the office to paid or volunteer workers, provided that said delegation has received Senate approval when the tasks delegated involve relinquishing direct control over official records or the payment of Senate funds.
§ 6.4 Treasurer: The Treasurer shall:
a) Keep accurate and current accounts of all Senate revenues and expenditures.
b) File with the Senate a reasonably detailed financial report within one month of assuming office and during the times appointed by the Senate.
c) Collect, assemble, analyze, copy, and distribute to the Senate all requests for appropriations of Senate funds.
d) Review all requisitions for disbursement of Senate funds, reporting all such requisitions to the Senate with recommendations for either approval or disapproval.
e) Share with the Secretary responsibility for management of the Senate Office, supplies, and equipment.
f) Insure compliance, by the Senate and by those to whom it allocates funds, with the provisions of Senate, Law School, and University policies regarding funding.
§ 6.5 Duties of the Executive Board: The Executive Board shall prepare the formal agenda for business meetings, prepare recommendations on the annual budget proposals, recommend nominees to the Senate for appointment to committees and auxiliary official positions, and act for the Senate within the scope of delegated authority when it is not feasible for the Senate to meet. The Executive Board shall nominate law students to all deliberative, advisory, or study groups or committees established by the Faculty or Administration of the Law School or the University which call for law student membership, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
§ 6.6 Appropriations by the Executive Board. The Senate may establish a fund and allow the Executive Board or one of the executive officers to appropriate funds from it under such regulations as the Senate shall deem proper.
Article VII. Committees, Auxiliary Officials, and Other Appointments
§ 7.1 Conduct of Business: Except as otherwise specified or restricted by the provisions of this Constitution or by other superior authority, the Senate shall determine the composition, functions, and manner of conducting the business of its committees, but, in the absence of Senate action, the committees shall determine the manner of conducting their business.
§ 7.2 Length of Terms: Committee members and auxiliary officials shall serve terms of one year or less, the precise length to be determined by the date upon which succeeding appointees begin their duties (or when the body they serve on expires). This provision does not preclude re-appointment for consecutive terms.
§ 7.3 Qualifications: Only students currently enrolled at the Law School as defined in Section 8.2 of this Constitution shall be appointed to its committees or as its auxiliary officials.
§ 7.4 Appointments to Non-Senate Groups: Any student applying to serve as a student representative on any deliberative, advisory, or study group or committee established by the Faculty or Administration of the Law School or University that calls for law student membership must inform the Senate regarding any connection such student may have with any Law School or University employees or departments covered by the jurisdiction of the Faculty or Administration group or committee. No student shall be appointed as a student representative on a particular committee or group where the student in question is currently employed by a Law School or University staff or department over which the particular committee or group has primary jurisdiction, except where the Executive Board determines, in consultation with the Administration of the Law School when necessary, that student interests will not be undermined by appointing the student in question to the committee or group. The strictures of this provision shall not be construed to preclude a student from serving as a student representative on a Faculty or Administration committee or group where the student in question performs unpaid work for Law School or University staff and departments or where the student performs paid work for Law School or University staff and departments that is unrelated to the subject matter under the jurisdiction of the particular committee (e.g. research assistants for professors).
§ 7.5 Duties of Appointees to Non-Senate Groups: Any student representative on any deliberative, advisory, or study group or committee established by the Faculty or Administration of the Law School or University that calls for law student membership must inform the Senate must inform the Senate of their group's or committee's actions from time to time, cooperate with other student representatives to different Faculty or Administration groups or committees (possibly in committee, as the Senate may establish), and work with the Senate to implement coherent policy to benefit student interests that fall within their jurisdiction.
§ 7.6 Committee on Elections: The Committee on Elections shall consist of a chairperson who is not a candidate for election; at least one Senate member who is not a candidate for election; and any additional law student selected by the chairperson and approved by the Senate, provided that none are candidates for election. The Committee on Elections shall screen candidates and conduct elections in accordance with the provision of the Code of Elections, conduct the nominating process for elected positions in accordance with the provision of the Code of Elections, and review the Code of Elections and recommend needed reforms to the Senate.
Article VIII. Procedures for Senate Meetings and the Conduct of Business
§ 8.1 Procedure: The current edition of Roberts Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority governing all matters of procedure for which this Constitution and other rules adopted by the Senate do not otherwise provide.
§ 8.2 Presiding Officer: The President shall preside over all meetings of the Senate except that the Vice President may preside over a regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate in the absence of the President, at the request of the President, or when any portion of the meeting involves proceedings directly relating to the President's continuation in office. When both the President and Vice President are absent, the Secretary shall preside, and when the Secretary is also absent, the Treasurer shall preside. If no member of the Executive Board is present, the oldest member of the Senate shall preside until a different temporary chairperson is chosen for that meeting.
§ 8.3 Quorum: A majority of the Senate membership, including the President and excluding seats which are vacant, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
§ 8.4 Consideration of Motions: Unless this provision is waived a by two-thirds vote of the Senate (excluding vacant seats), no main motion relating to amending this Constitution or relating to the continuance in office of any member of the Senate or any of its committees or auxiliary officials shall be acted upon until the next official meeting of the Senate following the meeting at which the substance of said motion was first introduced.
§ 8.5 Votes: Each member of the Senate shall have one vote on all matters put before the body, except that the President shall vote only in the case of a tie. The Vice President may vote when presiding at the request of the President in the presence of the President, but may vote only in the case of a tie when presiding in the absence of the President. An absent member of the Senate may appoint another member of the Senate to exercise their vote by proxy for a given meeting or they may communicate their votes in writing to the Secretary prior to the time of voting on the issue in question.
§ 8.6 Meetings: All meetings of the Senate shall be open to all members of the Law School Student Body, Administration, and Faculty, except for such meetings as the Senate may designate as closed sessions to discuss matters that are likely to have a direct and harmful effect upon the privacy, status, or reputation of specific individuals. The Senate cannot take any official action in closed sessions. Non-members in attendance at Senate meetings shall generally be permitted and encouraged to participate in orderly debate of agenda items, but the presiding officer may restrict their participation when necessary for the fair and efficient conduct of business, subject to review by a majority of the Senate.
§ 8.7 Times and Places: The Executive Board shall determine the time and place of the first Senate meeting each year, but the time and place of subsequent regular meetings shall be determined by a majority of the Senate (though the Senate may delegate this function to the Executive Board). The times and places of Senate meetings shall be published to the Law School Community.
Article IX. Election Procedures and Qualifications
§ 9.1 Election Code: The Senate shall promulgate and maintain a Code of Elections to govern the conduct of all Senate elections and referenda, which may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Senate (excluding vacant seats). The Code of Elections shall include, but is not limited to provisions for the following:
a) Certifying the qualifications of candidates and voters.
b) Establishing and publicizing election dates, polling places and times, and balloting procedures, including appropriate provisions for absentee voting.
c) Regulating ballot preparation, security, and counting.
d) Regulating campaign conduct.
e) Hearing and deciding election protests and appeals.
§ 9.2 Voter Qualifications: To qualify to vote in a Senate election, an individual must be a currently enrolled member of the Law School Student Body where "current enrollment" means that the individual has paid the Law School fee for the current term. Law students enrolled in joint degree programs with other schools at the University of Michigan shall be considered currently enrolled members of the Law School Student Body during all years of study in the joint degree program. Law students enrolled in joint degree programs shall be considered members of the second-year Law School Student Body for all intermediate years between their first year of study as a member of the Law School Student Body and their final year of study in the joint degree program, at which time they will be considered a member of the third-year Law School Student Body.
§ 9.3 Number of Votes: Eligible voters may cast as many votes in an election as there are open seats for a given position, unless the Senate shall, by a two-thirds vote (excluding vacant seats), determine a different number of votes to be cast for a given position. No voter may vote for a single candidate more than once in any election for the same position.
§ 9.4 Candidate Qualifications: To qualify as a candidate, an individual must be a currently enrolled member of the Law School Student Body as defined in Section 8.2 above and must also be enrolled each school term during the term of office for which the individual seeks election. In addition, an individual must be qualified by the timely submission, in the manner required by the Code of Elections, of a nominating petition bearing the signatures of the requisite number of persons qualified to vote for the position for which the candidate seeks nomination, and meet all other requirements and conditions set forth in Article IV of this Constitution.
§ 9.5 Simultaneous Position: No member of the Law School Student Body may hold more than one position on the Senate at any one time. The Senate may restrict executive officers from being appointed chairperson of a Senate committee, and the Senate may prohibit Senate members from being appointed to various auxiliary official positions.
§ 9.6 Timing of Elections: Elections for Senate executive officers shall be held during the last half of the winter semester of each year, with newly elected officers taking office within one week of the election. Elections for first-year representatives, second-year representatives, third-year representatives, the Junior Representative to the Lawyers Club Board of Governors, and the representative for the L.L.M. and S.J.D. students shall be held within the first month of the fall semester of each year. Specific dates for elections, appointments, and assumptions of duties may be prescribed in the Code of Elections or set by the Senate on an ad hoc basis.
§ 9.7 Vacancies: Vacancies for elective offices shall be filled at the next regular Senate election by the procedures normally applicable to the office. Vacancies which occur in the Senate executive offices shall be filled temporarily by election from among the Senate membership, with a majority of the remaining members (excluding those nominated to fill the vacancy) required to elect. Vacancies which occur in other Senate seats may be filled temporarily by appointment of the available defeated candidate with the highest vote total in the last election for the vacant position or, if there are no such available defeated candidates, by a qualified currently enrolled student elected by a three-fifths majority vote of the Senate (excluding vacant seats). In the absence of such potential appointees or at the option of the Senate, seats which would be vacant for more than two months before the next regular election may be temporarily filled by a special election declared by a majority vote of the remaining Senate membership. In the absence of action by the Senate, a special election may be required by petition of one-hundred persons eligible to vote in such a special election submitted to the chairperson of the Elections Committee, the President, or the Secretary.
Article X. Resignation, Removal, and Discipline of Members
§ 10.1 Resignations: Senate members and officials wishing to resign from elective or appointive positions must submit their resignation in writing to the Senate Secretary or President.
§ 10.2 Removal: The Senate may remove from office any appointed Senate official upon a vote of two-thirds of the Senate membership (excluding vacant seats).
§ 10.3 Censure: The Senate may officially censure any of its members or any appointed Senate official by a vote of two-thirds of the Senate (excluding vacant seats and the seat held by the subject of the vote). Censure may include, when so specified by the Senate, publication to the Law School Community or attachment of notice of the censure to all official records of the individual's service on the Senate.
§ 10.4 Impeachment: The Senate may remove from office any of its own members by impeachment upon a vote of three-fourths of the Senate membership (excluding vacant seats and the seat held by the subject of the vote). Excessive absence from Senate meetings may be grounds for removal. The Senate may remove from office any of its members by a majority vote of the Senate (excluding vacant seats) when the vote follows presentation of a recall petition signed by thirty percent of the current Law School Student Body qualified to vote for such member.
§ 10.5 Excessive Absence: A Senate member's absence from three consecutive meetings or four out of five consecutive meetings shall result in automatic loss of office, subject to reinstatement by a two-thirds vote of the Senate (excluding vacant seats). A majority vote of the Senate or a unanimous vote of the Executive Board may excuse the absence of a member of the Senate for good cause, and such excused absences shall not count towards those mentioned in the preceding sentence.
Article XI: Budget and Finances
§ 11.1 Accounts: The Senate Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining accurate accounts of the financial transactions of the Senate and shall periodically report to the Senate and the Law School Student Body concerning the status of the Senate Accounts.
§ 11.2 Accounting: All receipts and disbursements shall be made in accordance with sound accounting procedures through the Senate Account maintained by the Senate Treasurer with local banks, local credit unions, or with the business officers of the University of Michigan.
§ 11.3 Budget Code: The Senate shall promulgate a code of procedures and policies regulating the formulation of the annual budget and subsequent alterations thereof. These procedures and policies shall include but not be limited to the provisions for the following:
a) Solicitation of written annual budget requests from sponsored groups and organizations.
b) Preparation and distribution to the Senate of the tentative budget.
c) Open hearings upon the tentative budget proposal prior to final adoption.
d) Publication of any general policies governing particular kinds of appropriations (e.g. travel expense reimbursement or office supplies) or specifying purposes for which appropriations will not be made (e.g. alcohol or tobacco).
§ 11.4 Discretionary Appropriations: At times when it is impossible for the Senate to meet (e.g. during the summer and emergency situations), the Executive Board may, by unanimous vote, make discretionary appropriations not totaling more than one-hundred-fifty dollars ($150) from Senate contingency funds without prior approval. This authority may only be exercised when there are no funds available to the Executive Board or one of the executive officers under the provisions of Section 5.6 of this Constitution.
§ 11.5 Tax-Exempt Status: No Senate funds may be appropriated for purposes which would compromise the tax-exempt status of the University, the Law School, and the Senate or which would violate any local, state, or federal laws.
Article XII. Rights and Powers Reserved to Law Students
§ 12.1 Law School Student Body Membership: All individuals who have paid the Law School fee for the current term of study are members of the Law School Student Body for the purposes of this Article.
§ 12.2 Student Rights: The following rights and powers are reserved to the members of the Law School Student Body individually and collectively:
a) The right to vote in elections for Senate members and in referenda.
b) The right to petition for recall of Senate officers and members or for referenda on any issues which might appropriately be brought before the Senate.
c) The right to due process in all proceedings of a disciplinary nature.
d) The right to seek and hold elective or appointive office.
e) The right to be informed of all official actions by the Senate or its committees and auxiliary officials.
f) The right to receive adequate notice prior to all elections, business meetings, and open hearings conducted by the Senate. A regular meeting time and place once established and published shall constitute adequate notice.
g) The right in all relations with the Law School and the Senate to be free from discrimination based upon actual or perceived: race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, height, weight, marital or other familial status, military service, or other purely arbitrary criteria.
h) All other rights and powers not restricted or delegated by this Constitution.
§ 12.3 Referenda: The Senate may, on its own initiative, hold a referendum of all or part of the Law School Student Body on any properly presented issue affecting those pooled, and the Senate must hold a referendum of all or part of the Law School Student Body whenever it receives a petition in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Elections for referenda petitions. Except for matters in which the Constitution requires a larger margin, a simple majority of the ballots cast in a referendum vote shall be sufficient to bind the Senate until after the next election at which the executive officers are chosen, after which time a majority vote of the Senate is required to change the policy. No school-wide referendum may set Senate policy relating exclusively to residential matters, but only referenda of the residents of the Lawyers Club.
Article XIII. Amendment and Interpretation
§ 13.1 Constitutional Amendments: This Constitution may be amended by a three-fourths vote of the Senate (excluding vacant seats) or by a majority vote of those casting ballots in a referendum of the Law School Student Body.
§ 13.2 Notice of Amendment: No amendment may be adopted by vote of the Senate without the substance of the amendment first being published to the Law School Student Body at least seven days in advance.
§ 13.3 Constitutional Interpretation: The Executive Board may interpret the provisions of this Constitution in cases of ambiguity by a unanimous vote, but the Senate may overturn their interpretation and establish their own by a two-thirds vote (excluding vacant seats). If the Executive Board is unable to agree on an interpretation, then a majority of the Senate may interpret an ambiguous provision of this Constitution. In interpreting the Constitution, Senate custom and practicability should be significant guiding factors.
Article XIV. Ratification and Effect
§ 14.1 Ratification: This Constitution shall be ratified as a whole document in accordance with the procedures for amendment established in the Bylaw Constitution of March 28, 1988. This Constitution was so ratified in its original form on November 13, 2017.
§ 14.2 Effective Dates: The provisions of this Constitution shall be effective immediately upon ratification or amendment except that any provision which would alter the current Senate membership shall become effective at the end of the terms of office of the current membership.
§ 14.3 Severability: If any Article or provision of this Constitution is rendered ineffective or invalid, the validity of the remaining Articles and provisions shall not be affected.
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