Constitutions serve as the framework of government. Acting in good faith and seeking to promote the common good of the student body, we, the students of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Student Bar Association, proclaim this Constitution as the supreme law of our Association. This constitution represents the start of our efforts towards responsible self-government by the students, of the students, and for the students.
2. All members of the SBA shall be entitled to attend all general meetings of all SBA funded organizations and shall be entitled to vote in all Senate elections and referenda.
3. The senate shall not act as a partisan organization and shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation, nor shall any organization so chartered by the SBA. The Senate shall not determine the content of any policies or programs of SBA chartered organizations, provided they are in compliance with the aforementioned policy.
4. All powers not enumerated in this document shall not extend to the Senate
unless by constitutional amendment, or decree of the university or the Law
1. The President of the SBA shall preside over the Senate. The Vice President shall preside in the President's absence.
2. The Senate shall follow Robert's Rules of Order as adopted by the American Bar Association Law Student's Division at it's most recent annual meeting, in areas of procedure where the Senate has not legislated.
3. The Senate shall have the power to pass a budget and appropriate funds for itself and the SBA. However, no appropriation shall be for more than one fiscal year.
4. a) All action by the Senate shall occur at a general meeting or duly convened special meeting.
5. All appointments made by Executive officers must be confirmed by a simple majority of the Senators present at a general meeting.
6. The Senate may pass ordinary legislation in the form of resolutions.
7. The Senate may pass all rules and establish all commissions necessary and proper for the execution of this Constitution.
8. Each senator shall have these minimal requirements including but not limited
to attendance at Senate meetings, maintenance of at least one (1) regularly
scheduled office hour per week, sitting as a member on one (1) SBA committee or
commission, promoting SBA activities, disseminating information relating to SBA
functions and concerns and upholding the SBA Constitution.
1. There shall be six senators from the First year class, one from each section and one senator to be elected at large. There shall be six senators from the second and third year classes. There will also be one senator from the May AEP class and one senator from the Jan. AEP class.
2. a) The inauguration of Second and Third Year Senators shall take place at the end of the Senate meeting following their election. They will serve until the inauguration of their successors.
3. a) Each AEP class shall elect its Senator within its first three weeks of classes.
4. a) A vacancy shall be filled by one eligible to run for that seat initially, by a special general election among those originally eligible to vote for the seat. In the event that no candidate comes forward to run for the vacant seat, any student will be eligible to run for the seat which will be designated an at large seat and will be voted on by the Senate in Executive Session by a secret paper ballot.
5. a) The Election committee is to be comprised of all of the 3L Senators. The election committee must open the committee up to other students in the school and attempt to get non-senate participation.
6. 3L Students are eligible to vote for Presidential positions only.
1. a) Mandatory expulsion of a Senator from the Senate will occur if a Senator has been absent more than four (4) times in an academic year from regularly scheduled senate meetings. Meetings held during the summer do not count in the total number of allowable missed meetings.
2. Expulsion requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate as a whole. The senate shall have the power to impeach senators and remove them from office for cause.
3. A senator can appeal an expulsion to the Judicial Tribunal.
D. BUDGET COMMITTEE
1. The Budget Committee shall act on the annual budget submitted by club presidents before the Senate may begin consideration. The Budget Committee may be limited in the time it has to consider the annual budget so long as the period for consideration is not less than fifteen calendar days.
2. The Budget Committee shall consist of the Treasurer, who shall chair, and who shall vote in case of a tie and two senators. If no senators volunteer, then the President and Vice President will fill in the positions. The committee must attempt to get non-senate student participation by opening the committee up to all students in the school.
3. The Committee must meet at the following times: Last Week in September; First week back to school in January, and at the end of February.
E. LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION
1. Upon the passage of this Constitution the Constitutional Committee will hereby become the Legislative Commission.
2. The Legislative Commission shall have the power to consider, amend, approve or reject proposals on the rules of procedure for the Senate, its commissions and committees and the Judicial tribunal.
3. The Commission may also propose resolutions to the Senate.
4. A bill not reported to the floor of the Senate within thirty (30) days of
introduction to the commission may be reported to the Senate for consideration
through a petition to the President signed by the bill's sponsor and one third
(1/3) of the Senate as a whole. Once the President received the petition and all
the signatures are verified, the President shall place the bill on the agenda
for the-next general meeting.
1. There shall be an Executive Board of the SBA consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
2. a) The President shall be chosen by secret ballot in an election open to the entire student body. The Presidential election shall be held one calendar week prior to the April Senatorial elections.
3. a) The President shall:
The President may:
4. The Vice President shall be elected by a majority of the newly elected Senators present in Executive Session. The voting shall be conducted by secret paper ballot.
5. The Vice President shall:
The Vice President may:
6. In the event of permanent incapacitation, impeachment or resignation of the President, the Vice President shall assume the Presidency. If the Vice President must assume the position before October First, there is to be a school wide election to elect the new president. If it is after October 1, the Vice President shall assume the President's position and there shall be a new election for the Vice President in an Executive Session of the Senate.
7. The Treasurer shall be elected by a majority of the newly elected senators present in Executive Session. The voting shall be conducted by secret paper ballot.
8. The Treasurer must:
9. The Secretary shall be elected by a majority of the newly elected Senators present in Executive Session. The voting shall be conducted by secret paper ballot.
10. The Secretary shall:
1. The Judiciary of the SBA shall consist of a five (5) member (Justices) Judicial Tribunal, nominated by the Executive Board and confirmed by the Senate in April or when a vacancy arises and shall serve until graduation unless removed by the removal procedure.
2. a) One student with prior Cardozo Judicial Tribunal experience shall be designated Chief Justice by the President with the confirmation of the Senate. If no such student exists the President with the confirmation of the Senate shall appoint another candidate.
3. The Judicial Tribunal interprets the SBA Constitution, and hold trials of impeachment with a four fifths (4/5) majority needed for conviction. The Tribunal, on an appellate basis, may resolve controversies between parties over questions regarding the SBA Constitution and its resolutions.
4. The Judiciary shall propose its own rules of procedure for approval by the Senate. The Senate shall have three (3) calendar weeks during the school year from presentation of such procedures to consider and reject such proposals. If the Senate has not acted within this time the procedures will be considered adopted.
5. A justice can be removed for cause with a three fourths (3/4) vote of the Senate as a whole voting in affirmation to remove.
6. No student may serve simultaneously on the Senate and the Judicial Tribunal.
This includes the President and non-Senate members of Senate committees and
1. Any amendment to or ratification of this Constitution may be submitted to the student body by secret ballot referendum upon either presentation of a petition bearing the signatures of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the student body or by a two-thirds (2/3) absolute majority vote in the Senate. Any referenda, amendment or ratification shall require thirty percent (30%) of the student body to cast ballots and a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting to pass.
2. A Constitutional Convention shall be called by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire Senate or twenty five percent (25%) of the students signing the petition. Delegates shall be ten (10) students elected at a special election. The Vice-President shall chair and only vote in case of a tie. The Senate shall devise rules for conducting such a special election. Following the convention the proposed changes shall follow the proscribed procedure for ratification.
3. If parts of this constitution are held invalid the remaining document shall continue to serve as the constitution of the SBA.