[eDebate] About the relative size of the topics...

Steven D'Amico stevendamico
Mon Jun 5 12:46:42 CDT 2006

I agree with everything Will -cough- I mean Lenny Kravitz, had to say with
one exception:

"The obvious answer is "yes, but... at least the neg will always have a free
speech good disad"...

I suppose, but:

1. This places an awful lot of faith in how great *that* disad is."

I don't think Will is right here, although I must admit JP Lupo has me
slaving away in a cubicle doing non-debate research and I shouldn't be
taking the time to post.

Free speech ground is not guaranteed. There are surely obscenity cases which
are at least as bi-directional as an overrule of Casey could be. You can
overturn an upholding of a previous decision the same way you can on the
list topic.

This leads me to this conclusion: list topic is more limiting because at
least we know what all the cases are, what random sentences and precedents
can be overturned. Area topic gives me headache.  John Katsulus is also
right about the problem he pointed out.

****All comes down to T overrule. Does "overrule" mean that affs are aloud
to overturn any piece of precedent upheld in that case?****

Limits and the desire for good case debate says no.

Even more scary--Can one overrule the gendered language in a decision? Or
some other bad language? I smell an affirmative that will win every
novice tournament in D8  (limits against talking about patriarchy are
patriarchal we all know)

Even more more scary--what the heck does this mean for plurality decisions?

Interpretation: you only get to overturn on grounds explained in the
dissenting opinions of the case.

It limits, has some flexibility (i.e. dissents for different reasons), gives
predictability, and gets to the core of the case debate. Sure it may limit
out some 1L's law review of why some case should be overturned for some
silly (but new and creative) reason, but it is an interp which gets rid of a
lot of ickyness.

Yea there are some problems (What about attacks on cases made in newer
dissents of justices--arguably could meet the above interp) but will wanted
some thoughts.

steve damico

On 6/5/06, William J Repko <repkowil at msu.edu> wrote:

> Enclosed is a condensed version Tripp's post. I selected it b/c I think it
> summarizes one of the most prominent indicts of the list options.
> I react afterwards.
> ...I'm trying to figure out which topic to vote for, but -- for now -- I
> do
> not think I agree w/ Tripp's criticism.
> ------------ Tripp ------------------
> To those who think they are voting for a "list" topic by voting for the
> non-first amendment resolution, I would caution you to think more
> carefully....it is not true that there are only 4 possible
> affirmatives.
> (1) Not only are their multiple ways to overrule a decision....but also
> there is no specification of whether the decision has to be overruled in
> whole, in part, in holding, in judgement, or anything of that nature.
> (2) The "list" topics only focus on the action of overrule, not what
> REPLACES the old decision.... Arguably the NEW tests put in place by the
> court are the most important. While "overrule" creates a limit on the
> /mechanism /for the INITIAL action, make no mistake that tricky
> affirmatives
> will be able to come up with many different and new /outcomes/, that might
> even be nearly irrelevant to the original case. The perceived "limit" of
> the
> "lists", in my mind, don't seem that limiting.
> --------Tripp ends------------------
> let me start by saying that I'm not yet sold that "overrule" will -- in
> actual debates -- be *so simple* for the Aff to comfortably manipulate. I
> am
> still making my mind up about that.
> Yes, I would have preferred that the committee had no verb in the stem,
> and
> used prescribed verb for each list-item.
> But, I still need convincing that "overrule" is an utter lock to de-limit.
> (I'd appreciate people posting their side of the T debate)
> If a list topic were to win -- it just seems as though judges would err
> towards limiting T interpretations of the word "overrule". It would
> reflect
> the rationale of voting for a list option.
> That being said, hypothetically suppose "overrule" is as unquestionably
> de-limiting as (some) critics have claimed...
> Then, why aren;t many of these indicts just as true of the 1st amendment
> topic ?...
> ...after all, it uses the same word.
> Area #1 ?
> The USSC should curtail the protection provided for free speech by the
> First
> Amendment of the United States' Constitution by overruling one or more of
> its decisions on obscenity, hate speech, and/or campaign finance.
> ...won't these same tricky Affirmatives:
> a) curtail free speech and replace with all sorts of de-limiting alts ?...
> b) manipulate the mutiple ways to overrule a decision ?... overrule part
> of
> a decision, etc...
> c) use any "ground" they wish for creative advantage areas.
> The obvious answer is "yes, but... at least the neg will always have a
> free
> speech good disad"...
> I suppose, but:
> 1. This places an awful lot of faith in how great *that* disad is.
> Affs will use their wiggle room to develop an angle on free speech good.
> They'll obviously select Affs with on-point answers to that disad.
> ...plus, "free speech good" is far from the scariest disad we've seen
> built
> into a broad topic.
> 2. This places no faith that judges will hold the line on T on the list
> topics.
> Near as I can tell, the reasoning is:
> Both topics are very de-limiting, but at least the areas option gives the
> neg a generic to fall back on.
> Voters had best be REALLY convinced that overrule has no limiting
> function.
> The areas option cannot make a respectable claim that it is the most
> limiting topic -- it almost definitely foresakes predictability. The list
> option only might.
> 3. A lot of education stems not from the debating-phase, but the
> preparation-phase.
> Even if "overrule" winds-up rendering the list-topics de-limiting, I still
> think Negs will *feel* they have to be prepared for "normal" Affs.
> ...can you fathom teams saying:
> "we don't even need to prepare for the contingency that an Aff will
> overturn the heart of Casey or Morrison. No one will do THAT!!"
> I like that the list topics encourage negs to research the specific cases.
> I fear that the areas option will incentivize a more generic approach to
> the
> topic. Generics could easily seem like the path of less resistance. To me,
> this defeats the purpose of forced rotation.
> Would appreciate greater discussion from parties re: T defs of "overrule".
>   Best,
>     Leonard Kravitz
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