[eDebate] First amendment topic?

helwich at macalester.edu helwich
Fri Jun 2 23:17:46 CDT 2006


I'll start by saying that I think that the topic committee did a commendable job with really tough agenda. I think that Ede and others are right in that we as a community need to have a serious discussion about the role of the topic committee to avoid placing good people in a tight spot.

Now, to kick off the big bruhaha. I'm not meaning to pick on area/1A people, either. Once I arrive at a reasoned opinion about the topics, I'll be more than happy to both defend my preferred choice and take pot shots at the other resolutions.

My concern with the first amendment topic is that there will be few good cases that will be able to stand up to (a) rapid free speech good folks and/or (b) distinguish counterplans, and that these cases will be at least somewhat difficult to find in a very large literature base. As evidence, I offer a few search results:

In lexis, U.S. law reviews combined
"curtail the protection provided for free speech"... zero hits

In google
"curtail the protection provided for free speech"... zero hits 

All in lexis, U.S. law reviews combined
free speech or first amendment and obscenity... over 3000 hits
free speech or first amendment and hate speech... 2211 hits
free speech or first amendment and campaign finance... 1982 hits

I am open to being convinced that this area topic > any of the lists, but I am quite concerned about the breadth of the lit base (which Joe and Vik were quite open about at the meeting).

So, if you like the first amendment topic, what cases will be debated? Why are they good?

best,

dch





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