Tuesday, November 10, 2009

THE Manual ~ Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure

Mason's Manual is published by the National Conference of State Legislatures in cooperation with the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries. 

At 707 pages, calling Mason's the "bible of legislative procedure" would not be inaccurate, or boastful. Mason's tome is THE Manual. 

An effective law writer will understand the principles advanced in Mason's Manual, for that is the context and system under which one will work. Legislative bodies adopt their own rules of procedure. It is Law Writer's understanding that Mason's Manual has become the most widely used legislative procedure guide in the United States, currently in use by 77 of the 99 state legislative bodies in the United States. Thus, when the rules of procedure of a house need to be supplemented, Mason's becomes the guiding text. 

Mason's Manual is edited by NCSL every few years to update relevant legal precedents. NCSL ~ Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure

NOTE ~ Paul Mason's (1898-1985) roles in California state government included: Chief Assistant Secretary of the California Senate (1929-1932); Chief, Division of Driver's Licenses (1937-1953); Director of Motor Vehicles (1954-1958); and Legislative Secretary to Governor Goddwin Knight (1954-1958). * Before his death, Mason assigned the copyright of his manual to NCSL.  

The two other leading manuals of legislative procedure include Thomas Jefferson's Manual of the Senate and Cushing's Legislative Assemblies.

PRIMARY RESOURCE ~ MANUAL OF PARLIAMENTARY PRACTICE: for the Use of the Senate of the United States. BY THOMAS JEFFERSON. SECOND EDITION. WITH THE LAST ADDITIONS OF THE AUTHOR. GEORGE TOWN: PUBLISHED BY JOSEPH MILLIGAN; AND BY WILLIAM COOPER, WASHINGTON. 1812. Edited with an Introduction by Wilbur Samuel Howell. (Published without copyright by Princeton University Press)  Link to TEXT.

PRIMARY RESOURCE ~ Cushing's Manual of parliamentary practice for deliberative assemblies and rules of procedure in business corporation meetings. by Luther Stearns Cushing. Published in 1914, The John C. Winston Company (Philadelphia)  ~ Link to  Cushing's TEXT on Google Books.

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