American University-Washington College of Law
Republican National Lawyers Association
Article I: Name and Affiliation
The name of this organization shall be the Washington College of Law Republican National Lawyers Association ("WCL RNLA"). The WCL RNLA may also be known as the WCL Republicans.
Article II: Statement of Purpose
Section 2.1. Missions of the RNLA.
As the principal national organization of Republican lawyers, the Association has a targeted set of missions - all complementary, and none of which duplicate missions accomplished elsewhere. Each member of the Association and every local chapter must ascribe to the accomplishment of these missions, which include:
A. Advancing Professionalism. The RNLA is comprised of lawyers and law students who advance the professionalism of lawyers generally. It gathers Republican lawyers for legal education related to law in political, government, legislative and private firm settings. It provides a nationwide network of fellow professionals by practice area who share expertise.
B. Advancing Open, Fair and Honest Elections. The RNLA seeks to promote open, fair and honest elections at all levels of American society in a non-discriminatory manner. It provides election law training from preeminent election law professionals. It responds to requests for assistance from the Republican Party and its candidates by communicating the requests to its members.
C. Advancing Career Opportunity. The RNLA networks lawyers committed to lives of significant career accomplishment. Its national events allow interaction with lawyers of professional, political and governmental acclaim. It provides an advanced web service allowing members to share professional qualifications with other members and persons seeking professional assistance. It organizes local chapters within which members can seek career advancement assistance.
D. Advancing Republican Ideals. The RNLA further builds the Republican Party through a nationwide network of supportive lawyers who understand and directly support Republican Party policy agendas and candidates.
Article III: Compliance
The WCL RNLA shall comply with all American University and Washington College of Law policies and procedures as well as local, state and federal laws.
Article IV: Chapter Advisor
The advisor of the WCL RNLA shall be a full-time faculty, administrator, or staff member at the Washington College of Law.
Article V: Membership
Section 1: Eligibility
Any student, faculty, administrator, or staff member is eligible for membership in the WCL RNLA and said organization will not discriminate on the basis of: ancestry, color, race, cultural or ethnic background, economic status, ideological, philosophical, or political beliefs or affiliations, marital or parental status, national or regional origin, physical disability, religion, or religious or denominational affiliation, gender or sexual orientation.
Section 2: Membership Types
There will be two (2) recognized types of membership: General and Active.
A: General Membership - A General member is defined as any individual who has signed the membership roster. General members may attend all general chapter meetings, all official chapter events, and receive official chapter communications through the chapter listserv. General members do not have voting rights with respect to any chapter business and may not hold any position on the Executive Board nor serve as committee chairs.
B: Active Membership - An active member is defined as a member who has attended at least two (2) general chapter meetings per academic year or has attained twenty-five (25) Quality Membership Points on the following scale: Ten (10) points for attendance at a general club meeting, 2.5 points for attendance at a committee meeting, and 2.5 points per hour for participation in a committee or other WCL RNLA related event not to exceed two (2) hours with one (1) point being awarded for a half-hour's attendance; is determined to have paid the designated chapter dues, if applicable, and RNLA dues; and has signed the membership roster. Active members have voting privileges with respect to all appropriate chapter business; may hold any position on the Executive Board; and may serve as committee chairs.
Section 3: Determination of Membership
Final authority to determine the status of a member shall rest with the Executive Board. Said determination shall be arrived at by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
Article VI: Executive Board
Section 1: Structure
The Executive Board consists of WCL RNLA's four (4) elected Executive Officers. Each officer shall be elected according to the procedures enumerated in Article VIII. Only active members in good standing may serve on the Executive Board.
Section 2: Executive Officers
WCL RNLA's Executive Officers shall be responsible for the administration of the WCL RNLA and all chapter business. The Executive Officers of the WCL RNLA are: Chair; Vice Chair; Secretary; and Treasurer.
A: The Chair shall manage the Executive Board and ensure execution of all duties of all Executive Officers. The Chair shall function as presiding officer of all general chapter meetings and all Executive Board meetings. The Chair shall represent the WCL RNLA in all official capacities and is responsible for personal contact with all political and media entities, both individuals and organizations, for the betterment of WCL RNLA and its membership. The Chair can create committees. The Chair can appoint or remove committee chairs subject to the advice and consent of the Executive Board. The Chair is an ex-officio member of all committees but does not have voting rights in any committee. The Chair shall have the power to dispense any necessary club funds subject to a majority vote of the Executive Board.
B: The Vice Chair is directly responsible to the Chair for the administration of WCL RNLA. The Vice Chair will assist the Chair as a liaison to the RNLA and its local District of Columbia attorney and law school chapters. The Vice Chair will coordinate Executive Board meetings. In the event that the Chair is unable to complete his or her term of office, the Vice Chair shall assume the role of chair. Additionally, the Vice Chair will handle any other duties as deemed necessary by the Chair.
C: The Secretary is directly responsible to the Chair for the keeping of all accurate records for the WCL RNLA. The Secretary shall maintain and manage all official club communication as directed by the Chair. In the event that both the Chair and the Vice Chair are simultaneously unable to complete their terms of office, the Secretary will assume the role of Interim Chair as enumerated in Art. VIII �6(b). Additionally, the Secretary will handle any other duties as deemed necessary by the Chair.
D: The Treasurer is directly responsible to the Chair for all financial activities of the WCL RNLA. The Treasurer shall maintain the integrity of all finances and keep accurate records of all financial transactions and reimbursements. The Treasurer shall be responsible for collection of all appropriate dues from chapter members. Additionally, the Treasurer will handle any other duties as deemed necessary by the Chair.
Article VII: Meetings
Section 1: General Meetings
The Chair must schedule at least one general chapter meeting per academic month.
Section 2: Executive Board Meetings
The Chair must call a meeting of the Executive Board at least once per academic semester or when requested by a majority of the Executive Officers. These meetings will require the attendance of all committee chairs.
Section 3: Special Meetings
The Chair may call such special meetings as deemed appropriate provided at least forty-eight (48) hours notice is given to all active members.
Article VIII: Elections
Section 1: Timeline
Election of Executive Officers will occur once per academic year, no later than three weeks before the last regular class day of the spring semester.
Section 2: Parliamentary Process
The parliamentary rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the elections process of the WCL RNLA in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution or any applicable university regulations.
Section 3: Term of Office
The term of office for all Executive Officers is one full academic year. The terms of office for all Executive Officers officially begin at midnight of the last regular day of class of the academic year and officially expire at midnight of the last regular day of class of the following academic year.
Section 4: Requirements to Hold Office
A: A candidate for the Executive Board must meet the requirements for active membership in the WCL RNLA.
B: To be considered for an Executive office, an eligible member must be nominated and seconded for that position by two (2) active members other than himself or herself.
C: Nominations for office shall only be considered official on the day of the election, following the report of the Credentials Chair. A prospective candidate may announce for office at any time, however such a candidacy shall not be official until the nominations process is fulfilled.
Section 5: Election Procedures
A: The Chair shall appoint a temporary Elections Chair to preside over the election.
B: The Chair shall appoint a Credentials Chair to verify the status of all persons present for the election. Only active members are eligible to vote in any WCL RNLA election, and only if they are personally present on election day; no proxies are permitted. The Credentials Chair shall present a report of all credentialed members to the Elections Chair upon verification.
C: The Elections Chair shall open the floor for nominations to Executive offices once the credentials report is received. Candidates for Executive offices must receive a majority vote (50% plus one (1) vote) to win a respective office. If an election for a position does not receive a majority vote (50%, plus one (1) vote), then the two (2) candidates that have received the highest number of votes shall participate in a run-off election. Votes shall be cast by secret ballot. The Elections Chair and the Credentials Chair shall approve election results.
Section 6: Vacancies
A: In the event that the Chair and Vice Chair are simultaneously unable to complete their terms of office, the Secretary shall assume the position of Interim Chair in addition to retaining his or her duties as Secretary.
B: The Interim Chair shall not assume any of the regular powers of the Chair. The Interim Chair shall inform the advisor of WCL RNLA of said vacancies within twenty-four (24) hours of their occurrence. The Interim Chair shall call a special election to fill said vacancies within two (2) weeks after the occurrence of said vacancies. Said special election shall proceed in accordance with the procedures of election as enumerated in Section 5.
C: In the event of any vacancy of an Executive office not previously addressed, a special election shall be scheduled by the Chair to fill said vacancy, subject to the advice and consent of the Executive Board. Said special election shall proceed in accordance with the procedures of election as enumerated in Section 5.
Article IX: Committees
Section 1: Purpose
The Chair shall create committees to perform specialized functions within the operation of the WCL RNLA.
Section 2: Types of Committees
A: There shall be two types of committees: Standing Committees and Special Committees
B: Standing Committees exist to perform a permanent specialized function deemed essential to club operation. All Standing Committees shall remain in operation for the entire academic year that they were formed. At the conclusion of the academic year, all committees shall continue at the discretion of the Chair. The Standing Committee Chairs are appointed by the chapter Chair, though they may elected if allowed by the Chair.
C: Special Committees exist to perform a specialized function deemed important for temporary or intermittent duration. Special Committees shall remain active for a specified length of time after which the Chair shall render them either inactive or dissolved. The Special Committee Chairs are appointed by the chapter Chair, though they may elected if allowed by the Chair.
Section 3: Standing Commitees
The Chair may create Standing Committees as deemed necessary for the benefit of WCL RNLA.
Section 4: Special Committees
A: There shall be one permanent Special Committee, the Committee on Constitutional Review. If deemed appropriate, the Chair shall activate the Committee on Constitutional Review to review the WCL RNLA Constitution and make recommendations for amendments.
B: The Committee on Constitutional Review shall meet at least once if activated. The chair of the Committee on Constitutional Review shall make a report of the committee's findings to the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall, if necessary, debate and vote on any recommendations and present any approved proposals to the active membership for a vote. The Executive Board shall vote based upon the amendment criteria enumerated in Article XII; Section 1. Upon completion of its duties, the Chair shall dismiss the Committee on Constitutional Review and render it inactive.
C: The Chair may create such additional Special Committees as he or she shall deem appropriate.
Article X: Discipline
Section 1: Cause
A member is subject to discipline if said member is deemed to have made public statements or taken action that is of a detrimental nature to the WCL RNLA. Such actions would include but not be limited to actions or statements which place WCL RNLA under legal sanction.
Section 2: Procedures for Revocation of Membership
A: A majority of the Executive Board must concur that cause exists warranting proposed charges against said member.
B: The charges must be debated before the full Executive Board and the chapter advisor. A majority of the Executive Board must exist before charges are considered official.
C: Once officially charged, the accused member must be notified in writing of said charges to which the member will have fourteen (14) days to respond. If no response is provided, then the accused will be assumed to have consented to the validity of said charges and will hereby have waived any right of contest.
D: The matter will then be returned to the Executive Board for further debate. If a majority of the Executive Board concurs to continue in pursuance of the disciplinary warrant, the Chair shall inform the active membership that a revocation warrant is to be voted on at the next general club meeting.
E: The Secretary shall determine which members present are of an active status and present a report of his or her findings to the Chair.
F: The disciplinary warrant shall be presented before the active membership as the first order of business.
G: The chair shall appoint an Advocate to present the Executive Board's case.
H: If the accused has responded to the Executive Board's letter of intent to charge, then the accused is entitled to address the membership and have counsel present.
I: Each side shall have fifteen (15) minutes to present their case. Upon completion of statements, the Chair will call the question and the active membership present shall vote by secret ballot in which the word "Discipline" or "Acquit" shall be written. The outcome shall be based on a simple majority vote of the active membership present. If the membership shall have voted said accused to be disciplined, the matter shall be referred back to the Executive Board for final disposition in consultation with the chapter advisor.
J: Final disposition shall include but not be limited to written reprimand, suspension from all club activities for a time determined by a majority vote of the Executive Board in consultation with the club advisor, and permanent revocation of membership in the WCL RNLA.
K: If said member is acquitted, the matter shall be considered permanently closed.
Article XI: Impeachment
Section 1: Cause
An Executive Officer is subject to Impeachment if said officer is deemed to have committed the following acts while in office: malfeasance, nonfeasance, misfeasance, action contrary to the Washington College of Law and the WCL RNLA's constitution, as well as actions detrimental to the effective functioning of the WCL RNLA.
Section 2: Procedures for Removal From Office
A: Impeachment charges may be brought against any Executive Officer(s) by either a petition which includes the signatures of two-thirds (2/3) of WCL RNLA active members or by a petition signed by a majority of the Executive Board. Such a petition shall be filed with the WCL RNLA Secretary, Chair, or Advisor.
B: The Chair shall be responsible for informing the accused Executive Board member in writing within 24 hours of the receipt of the petition of Impeachment. The accused Executive Board member shall have fourteen (14) days to respond to the Executive Board, either in writing or in person. If no response from the accused is forthcoming, the accused will be assumed to have consented to the validity of the petition and will have waived any right of contest. The Executive Board shall refer the matter to the active membership with a recommendation of Impeachment. If a two-thirds (2/3) vote exists among the active membership, then said accused Executive Board member shall immediately be removed from office and be prohibited from seeking office in the future.
C: If said accused Executive Board member provides a response, then the matter must be debated before the Executive Board. By a majority vote, the Executive Board can either decline to forward the matter for lack of cause in which case the matter shall be considered closed, or the Executive Board may forward the matter to the active membership for final adjudication. During said debate, the accused shall have the right to face his or her accuser(s).
D: If the matter is recommended to be forwarded to the active membership for final adjudication, the hearing will be commenced at the next general chapter meeting that is held at least fourteen (14) days subsequent to the decision to forward petition for final adjudication. It will be the responsibility of the Chair to notify all active members of the upcoming proceedings no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the hearing.
E: The Chair shall also be responsible for appointing an Advocate to present the Executive Board's case; the Chair may not appoint his or her self as advocate. No less than three-fourths (3/4) of the active membership must be present for said hearing to proceed.
F: At said hearing, the process of final adjudication must be conducted as the first order of business. The accused will have the benefit of council and the right to address the active membership. The Advocate shall present the Executive Board's case followed by the accused presenting his or her defense. Both sides have thirty (30) minutes to make their presentations.
G: The active membership shall render final adjudication by a two-thirds (2/3) vote conducted through secret ballot. The words "Convict" or "Acquit" shall be written on the ballots. If the accused is acquitted, the petition shall be rendered null and void and the matter considered closed. If the accused shall be convicted, he or she shall be immediately removed from office and stripped of all rights to hold office at any time in the future.
Article XII: Amendments
Section 1: Submission
A: Proposed amendments to the WCL RNLA constitution may be submitted by any active member.
B: Proposed amendments to the WCL RNLA may be considered at any official Executive Board meeting, provided that all Executive Officers have been given a written copy of the proposed amendment fourteen (14) days before it shall be voted on.
C: Proposed amendments to the WCL RNLA constitution require a majority vote of the Executive Board in order to be considered for adoption by the active membership of WCL RNLA.
Section 2: Vote
If said amendment is recommended for adoption by an affirmative vote of the Executive Board, the proposed amendment to the WCL RNLA constitution must be voted on by the active membership of the WCL RNLA within thirty (30) days of the Executive Board meeting at which said amendment was considered.
Section 3: Notice
No less than fourteen (14) days notice must be given to all active members before an amendment to the WCL RNLA constitution may be considered.
Section 4: Adoption
Approval of proposed amendments to the WCL RNLA constitution require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all active members in attendance.
Article XIII: Dissolution
Section 1: Process
The WCL RNLA may be dissolved after approval by a unanimous vote of the Executive Board and a vote of three-fifths (3/5) of active members, provided that a notice of the vote on dissolution is furnished to the active members at least sixty (60) days prior to vote.
Section 2: Obligations
Upon dissolution, the Executive Board will utilize assets of the organization to pay all obligations and expenses of the WCL RNLA.
Section 3: Notice
Notice of dissolution must be presented in writing to the Student Bar Association.