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
- 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.