## #12 - The chairperson should not have released the Election

PowerScore Staff

Posts: 6576
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:19 pm
Points: 3,249

Complete Question Explanation

Justify the Conclusion-SN. The correct answer choice is (A)

Here, the stimulus author contends that it was wrong for the chairperson to release the Election Commission’s report to the public. In support of this conclusion, the author states that the chairperson did not consult with even one of the commission members before releasing it.

We know from the question stem that this is a Justify the Conclusion question. Our job is to select the answer choice that proves the conclusion is valid. The conclusion in this argument is flawed because it applies an unstated rule to the factual premise in order to reach the conclusion. To prove the conclusion is valid, we need to provide the rule, which is essentially “if Premise, then Conclusion.” In other words, we can prephrase that the rule will state that if the chairperson has not consulted with the members of the Election Commission about releasing the report, then the chairperson should not release it to the public.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, even though it does not initially appear to match our prephrase. We can diagram the answer choice as a conditional relationship:

permissible to release = it would have been permissible for the chairperson to release the report
consent = most other members of the commission first gave their consent

Sufficient Necessary

permissible consent
to release
and the contrapositive:

consent permissible to release

Our prephrase was that if the chairperson did not consult any other members of the commission about releasing the report, then the chairperson should not have released it. In other words, without prior consultation, it was not permissible for the chairperson to release the report.

consultation permissible to release

We may assume that if the chairperson did not consult the other members of the commission, then it could not be the case that a majority of the other members gave their consent before the chairperson released the report:

consultation consent

So, the rule provided by this answer choice combines with the premise to reach the conclusion that the chairperson should not have released the report:

consultation consent permissible to release

Answer choice (B): This answer choice is incorrect because its focus is on the signing of the report, rather than consultation regarding the release.

Answer choice (C): Here, the answer choice may seem similar to answer choice (A), but only if we assume that the chairperson would have needed to consult the members of the commission about releasing the report in order to determine whether any of the members had serious reservations about the report’s content. Since there is no indication in the stimulus that the chairperson would only have learned about the members’ reservations about the report’s contents by consulting them about the report’s release, this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (D): Again, this is an answer choice worded for maximum confusion, and it is even closer to the language of answer choice (A) than we saw in answer choice (C). The problem here is that this requirement, that each of the commission’s members would have agreed to the report’s release if they had been consulted does not actually require the chairperson to consult them prior to releasing the report. For example, if the chairperson somehow knows that each committee member would agree to the report’s release, then it is not necessary for the chairperson to consult the members. The stimulus does not allow for this procedure, but rather indicates that actual consultation was necessary for the report’s release.

Answer choice (E): The members’ preferences, without more, does not create the requirement that the chairperson consult them prior to releasing the report. For this answer choice to be correct, the stimulus would have to provide some rule indicating that the members’ preferences dictate the chairperson’s actions.
Jkjones3789

Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:54 am
Points: 0

Hello in this Justify question ... I was a little confused between A and D and ended up going with D because I didn't like that consent randomly appeared in A. Could you please explain to me why D is wrong and what the whole had they been consulted thing plays into in because it confused me and why A is right. Thank you so much?
David Boyle
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:25 am
Points: 743

Jkjones3789 wrote:Hello in this Justify question ... I was a little confused between A and D and ended up going with D because I didn't like that consent randomly appeared in A. Could you please explain to me why D is wrong and what the whole had they been consulted thing plays into in because it confused me and why A is right. Thank you so much?

Hello Jkjones3789,

The word "consent" is not a problem in answer choice A, since it is more or less a synonym of "agree" or "approve" or such.
Anyway, question 12 does appear to be a Justify question, so you want something that is sufficient to make stuff happen. --This question is pretty tough because of the wording. Answer choice D is very tempting, since it does talk about "be[ing] consulted", and the stimulus discusses consultation. In fact, you can diagram the logic of the stimulus, from what the stimulus seems to say, that

release consultation.

That being the case, answer choice D actually has a weakness, that is, it talks about agreement with releasing the report. But the stimulus says only that consultation is needed, not actual agreement. So answer choice A comes closer to being right. Answer A has the confusing thing about "most other members...", but maybe that is not the important part. The important part may be "consent", since to be able to consent, they must have been consulted, and that fits with the stimulus, requiring consultation for release.

Hope this helps,
David
Frank
LSAT Apprentice

Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:38 pm
Points: 0

Hey guys,

This one tricked me. During the test I narrowed it down to A and D. Based on my pre phrase I was looking for something that said that consulting other members of the board is a requirement before releasing the report. I eventually went with D for two reasons: 1) I didn't feel that consent was necessary, consultation, yes, but not consent. 2) D had 'consulted' in the necessary condition. Looking back I can see this is a bit of a shell game, and that this last little part of answer choice D might be what makes it the wrong answer.

Am I correct in thinking that what makes D wrong this last little part ('had they be consulted') that is tacked on to the end of the necessary condition? Is it because it leaves open the possibility that the other members need not be consulted?

Also what makes A right? Is it that consent is sufficient to show that they were consulted?
Lucas Moreau
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:17 pm
Points: 228

Hello, Frank,

Answer choice D is deliberately written to confuse you in that fashion, yes. Isn't that annoying?

The problem with D is "would have agreed to its being released had they been consulted". Strictly speaking, that means that it doesn't matter whether or not the chairperson actually consulted the other members of the commission, but he would have been justified in releasing the report merely if the other members would have been okay with it had he consulted them. That's not what the stimulus says.

What makes answer choice A right is that it states that releasing the report would only be permissible if the other members had actually been consulted, and given their consent. (They can't give their consent if they were never consulted!) The problem the stimulus has is that the other members were never consulted, not that they wouldn't have been okay with it if they had been consulted.

The difference between "consented" and "consulted" is largely irrelevant for this question, as is the difference between "permissible" and "justified". The point is, the stimulus says that the chairperson was wrong because he didn't talk to any of the other members first, not because of any opinions the members actually had.

Hope that helps,
Lucas Moreau
Cking14

Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:10 pm
Points: 0

I was between (A) and (D) too, and ultimately chose (D) - but it was because of the "most other members..." part. Is that type of language something that I should not be concerned about? Please clarify.
Thanks!
Chris
David Boyle
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:25 am
Points: 743

Cking14 wrote:I was between (A) and (D) too, and ultimately chose (D) - but it was because of the "most other members..." part. Is that type of language something that I should not be concerned about? Please clarify.
Thanks!
Chris

Hello,

The "most other members..." part is confusing, but given everything I said above, in this case, "most other members..." is not that big a problem.

David
mokkyukkyu

Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:41 pm
Points: 5

Hi,

Could you explain why C is wrong?
Is it because of "any" or "reservation"?

Thanks
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,304

C is wrong because it sets up a conditional test for releasing the report, and we don't know if the sufficient condition was met or not. We want to prove that he should not have released the report - that's what we have to justify. A does that, and goes much farther than it needs to in the process (which is what throws people off), by making consultation necessary for release (because if the commission members consent, it implies that they were consulted).

Answer C does not prove that the report should not have been released, because we do not know if any members would have had serious reservations. What if none of them would have had serious reservations? Then we could not conclude that the report should not have been released, which is the thing we want to prove is true.

For those folks still hung up on "consent" in answer A, consider this:

Claim: I am capable of baking a cake

Justify: I won three international baking competitions this year, defeating several acknowledge world champion bakers.

Did I need to go that far? No. Does winning have to be part of my answer? No. I could be capable of baking a cake without ever having entered a competition, let alone won one. Where did this stuff about other champs come in? From my fevered imagination, but so what? My claim has now been justified.

Same thing with consent. Did we need consent? No. Does consent justify? Yes, because consent implies consultation, giving us what we need, and more, to prove the conclusion is true. It's okay for a Justify answer to go above and beyond the call of duty. The goal is to prove the conclusion is true, so why not prove it big time? Go big or go home!

Beware, though, of another question that looks like a justify if you aren't careful, and that is where you are asked "which of the following is necessary to justify the conclusion", or something similar that makes the answer choice necessary. Those aren't truly Justify questions - they are Assumption questions in hiding! In that case, an answer like A here would be a loser for exactly the reason that so many people rejected it here, that consent went beyond the scope of the stimulus.
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
75rambert
LSAT Novice

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:33 pm
Points: 2

Hi, long time reader, first post here!

I’m wondering if there’s anything you could share regarding how answer choice A says: “It would have been permissible...” When the argument in the stimulus says: “The chairperson should not...”. This led to me to think that the answer didn’t have the right certainty level and it caused me to doubt choosing that answer.