[eDebate] Areas vs List and new resolution ideas

Roy R. Levkovitz rlevkov
Sat May 27 19:03:07 CDT 2006

There has been an interesting discussion about the merits of area vs cases
and how to best craft a topic.  I?ve sort of sidelined myself from edebate
recently, and never really learned how to flow anyhow, so there won?t be
any line by line here, just some thoughts and a potential solution

The way I see it, the discussion comes down to a couple of critical

1.) Aff vs Neg Ground
Branson?s post around 2 weeks ago is really good on this, the goalpost has
moved to the negative, it is now harder in many instances to be aff then
neg.  I won?t rehash all of the arguments, but the general negative
leaningness of judges on theory, the ability to find many both topic
specific and non topic specific Ks, and a wide variety of generic
arguments, means that even in worst case scenarios, the negative always
has outs.  I think that the concern must be in crafting an area of the
topic that provides for solid aff ground, with less concern that the aff
will simply always run away from negative arguments

2.) Areas are too big- I think that people are right, multiple areas would
be too big for the negative, we risk establishing a Europe-esque list
where none of the areas mesh together very well, and as good as the
legitimacy DA might be, having that as core ground for the negative is
pretty crap-aroo.  I think that the solution is not to have multiple
areas, but one well developed area that provides core solid predictable
ground for the negative, ensuring good debates happen.

3.) how to word the topic/ What would an aff do.  It took me a while to
come up with an answer to this question, First I think that having
overrule or overturn or double turn in the res is just a bad idea.  Nobody
will convince me otherwise of this, I appreciate and respect all the work
people have done on this, I just think its really playing with fire and
could be a disaster.  We could end up having lots of t debates on the term
that will just get boring very quickly.  My question is why are we
limiting much of the discussion to overrule vs overturn and not looking
elsewhere to more generic terms that could set a better limit on the topic.

My solution

I think the best place to craft the resolution is around limiting
executive authority.
A potential resolution (this is sort definitely a rough draft and could be
better worded during the meeting or by others) is 
Resolved: The United States Supreme Court should limit the authority of
the executive to conduct the War on Terror.  
Resolved: The United States Supreme Court should limit the war fighting
(or powers) authority of the executive
or some variant of either of the two

There are many advantages to crafting the resolution in this manner
1.)	No overturn vs overrule t debates.  If the aff wants to overturn
something go ahead, same for overrule.  But this resolution doesn?t
hamstring the aff to do so, the aff can affirm something, strike down
something, strike down a statue, end detainment without charge some place
etc etc.  
2.)	It solves the area is to vast arguments-  presidential powers good /
bad becomes a solid core negative argument, along with the war on
terrorism da.  The high school topic proved how good these DAs are, which
means that even if the aff is new or tricky, the negative will not be
caught without anything to say.  And of course the neg always has the
congress cp. It also guarantees we don?t have the Europe topic all over
again with multiple areas, just one solid area
3.)	It provides for aff flexibility- this obviously doesn?t limit the aff
to X number of cases to overturn or overrule and gordon?s work on the blog
along with the HS topic prove that there does exist a good amount of
literature for affs in this area
4.)	It is functionally the permutation of area and list.  The perm is
always best
5.)	It solves the states issue- While I loved the states cp as a 2n, I
really think making the topic something like environment or social rights
etc allows the neg to just have states courts do X.  executive authority
makes it a lot harder for the states cp to be effective, and guarantees
better topic specific education

The heat game is about to start, but I really think that in considering
the crafting of this topic we should look to one area with good aff and
neg ground, and not limit ourselves to having the court solely overturn a
decision.  My limited knowledge of the courts (sorry professor giles)
tells me the court can def do more then overturn a previous blunder, we
should not constrain the aff to solely overturning when other superior
resolutions could be crafted.  

my vote is for finding 1 area with a solid sized case base that provides
stable negative ground while trying to avoid what some might call annoying
t debates. 


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