[eDebate] Hamdan, Quirin and the Topic Vote

spmancuso at aol.com spmancuso
Fri Jun 30 09:37:09 CDT 2006


First, congratulations to Neal Katyal, former Dartmouth debater, who 
was lead counsel for the winning side in yesterday's Hamdan decision.  
Tom Goldstein, former debater at UNC, was also one of Hamdan's lawyers. 


Both Tom and Neal debated successfully on our last legal topic - 
overruling in the area of the right to privacy.

Second, our list's snap analysis notwithstanding, there is an active 
debate over the extent that Hamdan limits Quirin.  The conclusion of 
Justice Scalia's dissent is plainly just that, a dissent.  While 
Hamdan's victory may turn out to be a broad and influential legal 
precedent and a meaningful constraint on the power of the President, it 
left many issues undecided.  To get a small taste of the debate over 
Hamdan in relation to other decisions, visit Tom Goldstein's blog on 
the Supreme Court:  scotusblog.com

Finally, regarding the Topic Vote, there are TWO options on the ballot 
with lists of landmark Supreme Court cases that do not include ex parte 
Quirin.  One lists 6 cases, the other lists 4.  So if Hamdan spooks you 
in supporting a resolution where it is included you still have your 
options in terms of landmark list topics.

The 6-case topic includes landmark cases in these areas:  abortion 
rights (Casey), affirmative action (Gratz), death penalty (Gregg), 
desegregation (Milliken), domestic violence (Morrison), freedom of 
religion (Boerne).

The 4-case topic includes:  Casey, Gratz, Milliken and Morrison

I recommend the broader of the two, as adding the death penalty and 
freedom of religion to our debates would add unique, timely, 
interesting and important constititutional issues.

Steve Mancuso
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