GUSA Constitutional Council rules Greco is senate speaker
At a hearing held on Saturday night, the GUSA Constitutional Council ruled that the Jan. 12 senate speaker confirmation vote was unlawful and that, as a result of George Spyropoulos‘ (COL ’14) resignation, Sam Greco (SFS ’15) is the true senate speaker.
The Constitutional Council’s ruling comes after GUSA Election Commissioner Ethan Chess (COL ’14) petitioned the Council to review the events of Jan. 12 and determine who is the rightful senate speaker.
Justice Josh Shinbrot (COL ’16) delivered the Council’s 3-0, unanimous decision, which confirmed that Greco is the senate speaker and barred the GUSA senate from holding any vice-speaker confirmation votes in the future.
When asked about the Council’s reasoning on reaching its decision, Shinbrot, answering on behalf of the entire Council, explained that, while each of the three members reached the same decision, the three members all used different justifications for their rulings. Shinbrot went on to say that the three members will release their opinions by the end of the week and that those will contain each justice’s individual explanation.
“Section 2.05(e) of the GUSA bylaws states that one of the responsibilities of the Vice Speaker is, ‘Assuming the role of Speaker should the Speaker resign or be removed,'” Shinbrot wrote in a draft of his opinion, which he shared with Vox in an email. “The bylaws do not necessitate that the Vice Speaker pass a confirmation vote in order to assume the role of Speaker.”
Shinbrot went on to pass judgement on the claim made by some that a speaker confirmation vote held last year to vote-in former Speaker Zach Singer (SFS ’15) after Nate Tisa‘s (SFS ’14) resignation established precedent for the practice.
“There are no previous cases by the Constitutional Council that have held that the singular previous instance in which a confirmation vote was held was in accordance with the GUSA bylaws so there is no precedent from that standpoint,” Shinbrot wrote. “Furthermore, having a confirmation vote is not even a long established practice. The only previous instance, in which a Speaker resigned midterm, was last year, when Nate Tisa resigned to assume the role of GUSA President. At this point Zach Singer, the Vice Speaker of the GUSA Senate, became Speaker.”
“Obviously, there were some serious, constitutional questions with what happened,” Greco told Vox shortly after the hearing. “Fortunately, our organization has a mechanism, the Constitutional Council, to give a second look to these things, and I’m glad they did.”
Greco added that he’s looking forward to getting the GUSA Senate back on track and ready to accomplish its established goals.
This may be the last bit of GUSA’s tired politicking until the presidential election, but, if it isn’t, Vox will have it covered. As Cersei Lannister put it, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”