[eDebate] Fwd: Coalition of the list-supporter

Joe Patrice joepatrice
Sun Jun 4 02:39:23 CDT 2006


Let me clarify one thing for fairness' sake -- I think Ede and I both know
generally how large this topic will be (literature wise if not "running to
the margins" wise).  My words were not intended to say that Ede was wrong
(in fact I think he is right when he appeals to those who want the most
choice about different areas of law to discuss) as much as words of caution
to those who may think "we want a small topic...we should vote for a list
because a list has been a good limiter in the past."  I don't think (and I
may be wrong) that either Ede or I think that sentence is true.  So I'm
saying, "if you value smaller, vote 'area' AND likewise, if you want
breadth, don't be duped into thinking the 'area' topic is the broad one,
because the list topics provide the most breadth of issues for debate and
exploration."

Decision is not a check (though it is the BEST check in an overrule
context).  The decision in the (very specific) Morrison case is overruled if
the Court rejects the Lopez standard, and that implicates every other
federal social law.  Perhaps there is a T debate if the lesser part of the
case is overruled, but overturning the landmark part of these cases is all
you need to unlimit the topic in my estimation.  The privacy topic was
different in the way that it was exactly like the First Amendment
topic...limited to one body of lit.  Even the smallest list topic is the
size of the privacy topic at the point Casey is included AND then it is
expanded by the multiple of every other case on the list.

I agree my guess is speculation, but I think it is a speculation that both
Ede and I share -- the topic will be big as far as involving multiple bodies
of lit.  That is not a normative statement about the quality of big v. small
topics.  You can decide that for yourselves, which is why both options are
on the ballot.  I just don't want people to back lists thinking "this is
4,5,6,7,8 Affs" when it is really much more.

I don't think a debater looking at the Morrison Aff is running to the
margins to talk about gun control.  In fact, the lit does that.  Moreover
this is why I always supported Galloway's original federalism paper...this
is ONE good TOPIC.  But today it is one part of a bigger topic.

Strategic considerations are the least of my concerns at this point.  Being
a lawyer affects my opinion to the extent that I think the lit actually
directs people AWAY from the core of the issues in the cases.  Morrison is a
domestic violence decision, and domestic violence will be discussed by some
Affs.  But the literature, even limited to law reviews, is about "what
Morrison means for [insert unrelated federalism issue here]."  That isn't
strategic...if I thought gun control was an important issue for discussion
then the lit would support me that Morrison is the key case to overrule in
that regard.

I completely agree that Gratz and Milliken are salient cases to debate.  I
think they are the most focused of the decisions on the lists (as I said at
one point...each of Casey, Quirin and Morrison are what pushes the topic to
the periphery) and I would have supported a one or two case topic that
consisted of one or both of Gratz and Milliken.  I think the topics make it
very very big to debate those two Supreme Court decisions AND every other
topic.  The community may disagree.

Joe


On 6/3/06, Ede Warner <e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu> wrote:
>
>  Joe,
>
> There was no consensus of this opinion on the committee and this was
> certainly not how the Supreme Court topic played out in the early 90's.
> Why?
>
> First, the word "decision" is a check.  There is a topicality debate to be
> had if one overturns lesser parts of a decision but leaves the "landmark"
> part of the case in tact.  That was repeatedly the position of many on the
> committee that debated the privacy topic, as well as borne out by how it was
> debated in 92.  Joe's claim (that those who do the research will agree with
> him) is merely speculation from his position as a lawyer, not necessarily
> from the position of what cases make strategically the most sense, and
> certainly not from the perspective that perhaps for the first time this
> year, affirmative debaters have a host of content areas they already have
> strong opinions about and WILL WANT TO TAKE ON THE TOPICS, not run to the
> margins.
>
> Second, not everyone has strategic advantage as their top priority (as
> perhaps is more important to a lawyer), there are certainly a group of
> debaters in our community where the strategic advantage is the primary
> concern. However, there is a growing number of people in this community who
> want to advocate issues important to them.  I contend that at least some of
> them will want to overturn the heart of the decision.  If you are a pre-bid
> caliber debater and a first round or a championship is your goal, then the
> curtail first amendment topic is the most strategic for you. And if you get
> the lists, the likelihood of you running to the margins of a decision for
> strategic value is high.   If you are a young debater who is already
> invested in one or more of the social issues that the topic committeee
> carefully created a pedagogical opportunity for, then you are not likely to
> run to the margins of one of the decisions.
>
> You see, Joe's scare tactics won't be the majority of our novice debates
> this year, nor our junior varsity.  I'll argue that most of the teams in
> open in the CEDA East will take on the heart of issues like abortion,
> reducing presidential authority, or affirmative action head-on and won't run
> to the margins of the topic.  You see interest in something changes desire
> to run.  These teams will have a desire to debate the heart of the decision.
>
>
> I'll end with a piece of our story.  This year, we have targeted incoming
> first year students that have received race-based scholarships to debate.
> We'll take as many of them as we can.  Our pedagogical goal is that we want
> them to be able to defend the value of a race-based scholarships when they
> are done with the season, something that our University believes they cannot
> generally do.  We want them when they become lawyers to be able to fight for
> the legacy of affirmative action when they are in a position to use their
> alumni monies to influence University policy.  Will any of these students
> win the NDT, or CEDA Nationals, or even get a first round?  Nope, probably
> not.  But will they run to the margins of overturning a part of Gratz or
> Milligan that doesn't address the current problems of affirmative
> action.  Nope, assuredly not!
>
> These arguments of authority--I'm a lawyer and I've read the stuff are not
> persuasive the way they are being deployed, to scare us that we can't have
> an educational season.  And even if these arguments have HUGE merit, having
> our students read about this historical precential landmark cases in
> preparing for the debates around the margins still has a huge value....I'll
> conclude with this:  I won't attempt to threaten or mock by inferring
> ignorance anyone who chooses to vote for the first amendment topic, and I
> won't denigrate it either.  People that choose to vote for it will have
> their reasons, and I'll respect those.  But I would hope that my call to
> those who decide they want to debate one of the lists, won't be insulted for
> that choice, but treated respectfully and as properly exercising their
> rights to create a winning ballot strategy.  Peace out,
>
> Ede
>
> >>> "Joe Patrice" <joepatrice at gmail.com> 6/3/2006 6:42:25 PM >>>
> I do not want to discourage a coalition of those with similar topic
> worldviews, but as both an attorney and a member of the topic committee let
> me urge everyone, before someone joins Ede in this coalition, let me urge
> that you do the background work that I'm sure Ede and I have done that have
> led us to different conclusions.
>
> Personally, I think as you read the literature, both specific to the cases
> and generally as to how the legal system operates, you'll find that these
> are not list topics but mega-area topics.  I have said multiple times during
> the webcast and I will say again that the "smallest" list topic:
>
> The United States Supreme Court should overrule one or more of the
> following decisions:
> Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
> U.S. v. Morrison (2000)
> Milliken v. Bradley (1974)
> Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)
>
> is precisely co-extensive with the topic:
>
> The United States Supreme Court should overrule one or more of its
> decisions in the areas of privacy, abortion, the authority of the federal
> government to pass social legislation binding upon states, and racial
> discrimination.
>
> Others may (and do) disagree but I think it is topical to say "the Supreme
> Court should reject the test articulated in Morrison because it limits
> access to abortion clinics legislation (or gun control, or domestic
> violence, or...)."  Many different "tests" can be the basis of the overrule
> and that means they can be used to access the entire area a case is in
> rather than just affecting one case.
>
> I think the area topic allows a great deal of flexibility...it just offers
> flexibility in one area of the law, not 5 or 6 or 7 law school courses worth
> of law.
>
> Joe
>
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