This type of resolution is often used to express the body's approval or disapproval of something that they cannot otherwise vote on, due to the matter being handled by another jurisdiction, or being protected by a constitution. An example would be a resolution of support for a nation's troops in battle, which carries no legal weight, but is adopted for moral support.
Non-binding resolutions are usually specific simple or concurrent resolutions that are not passed on to the executive branch to be signed into law. These resolutions differ from pure concurrent resolutions (that are used for various procedural requests such as adjourning sessions) in that they are designed to express formally and document opinions, not initiate a process.
These resolutions offer a means for elected officials to publicly air the concerns of their constituents and are closely followed by major media outlets. Additionally, these resolutions can be used to state the position of the legislature, showing a preview of how they will vote on future legislation and budget allocations.
Notable historic uses
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- All United Nations General Assembly resolutions that are not about matters internal to the UN (such as the structure of the UN or the creation of UN agencies) are inherently and explicitly (in the UN Charter) non-binding.
- The United Nations Security Council has the power to pass both binding and non-binding resolutions; whether a resolution is binding depends on what section of the Charter it is enacted under.
- On June 22, 1971, the United States Senate passed a non-binding resolution in support of withdrawing troops from Vietnam.
- In July 1998, the US Senate passed a non-binding resolution affirming their commitment to a democratic Taiwan.
- In February 2007, the Vermont State House of Representatives and Senate passed non-binding resolutions calling for the orderly withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq to commence immediately.
- In February 2007, the US House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution, House Concurrent resolution 63, to formally express its disapproval of President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq.
- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day.
- Holland, Joshua (2007-02-15). "It's Way Too Late for Nonbinding Resolutions on Iraq". AlterNet. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
- The Associated Press (2007-02-03). "What's a nonbinding resolution?". nwsource.com. Retrieved 2007-02-17.[dead link]
- Profita, Hillary (2006-06-16). "Why A Non-Binding Resolution Gets A Lot Of Attention". cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
- "Vietnam War 1969–1975". The History Place. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- Moore, Janet (1998-07-01). "Senate Passes Non-Binding Resolution To Reassure Taiwan". cnn.com. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- "110th Congress, 1st Session H. CON. RES." (PDF). speaker.gov. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- "U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes 110th Congress, 1st Session". clerk.house.gov. 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
- Toner, Robin; Michael Luo (2007-02-13). "House Democrats Unveil Measure Denouncing Iraq Buildup". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- "H. Res. 224". 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- McCullagh, Declan (March 11, 2009). "National Pi Day? Congress makes it official". Politics and Law (CNET News). Retrieved 2009-03-14.