[eDebate] Court topic - need area input from community

Gordon Stables stables
Fri May 26 14:09:48 CDT 2006

Over the last week or see I have seen a reasonable amount of discussion 
that favors an area approach to the topic. It generally works where 
someone says 'lists are bad' and then says 'areas are good.' I feel as 
though there is a lot of support for giving the community a lot of 
opportunity to guide the topic, but we need some more perspective on 
what you mean, by 'area.'

One reason that cases have an intuitive appeal is that they are narrower 
than an entire body of law in a particular subject. This doesn't mean 
that areas wouldn't work quite well (I think they might be great), but 
that if we want to use areas we may need to select fewer diverse 
subjects and instead have a greater emphasis on certain areas.

I am not sure what Darren is referencing when he speaks of the 'silence' 
on Ede's proposal for the inclusion of race and class, the blog features 
new work done specifically to address community input for this aea. What 
we need now is less silence across the board. If you feel that an area 
topic is best, which of the following would make the best choices? Which 
options work best together? Which items wouldn't make the best choices?

I will open a post on the blog http://www.cedatopic.blogspot.com/ to 
keep the conversation organized, but please let us know. This is the 
list of areas that the committee has been considered, suggested and/or 
is working on:

- Abortion
- Affirmative Action
- Executive Power/ War on Terror
- Federalism (federal remedies for violence against women)
- Eminent Domain
- Death Penalty
- Education (including school desegregation)
- First Amendment
- Right to die
- Plenary power (Immigration, pres power, Native Americans, US 
Territories, etc)
- Criminal Law
- Pornography
- Religious Freedom
- Gay Rights

Thanks for your input.


Gordon Stables, Ph.D.

Director of Debate

Annenberg School for Communication

University of Southern California

Office: 213 740 2759               Fax: 213 740 3913


Darren Elliott wrote:

> This last week has been crazy for most of us with Graduations, Final 
> exams, etc.  I have not taken time to post many thoughts on the topic 
> here or on the blog.  However as we are less than a week away from day 
> 1 of the Topic Meeting I would like to make a couple observations and 
> throw out some thoughts.
> 1.  Ede is not being engaged on his concerns of race and class as it 
> pertains to "choice" versus "best" and I find that somewhat 
> disheartening.  I agree with him that this topic gives us a unique 
> opportunity in the community to focus on issues paramount not only to 
> society and the legal system, but also to the microcosm that is 
> College Debate.  The silence is deafening and I hope Ede chooses to 
> come to KC and engage us all and continue to make us think and react 
> because "action" seems a remote possibility.  "Reaction" may be all 
> that is left and I hope Ede stays the course.
> 2.  What I find particularly odd, and quite frankly it took one of my 
> other coaches to point this out, is that none of the case area being 
> discussed deals with Gay Rights.  Like Race, Gender and Class, this 
> seems to be an area ripe for discussion.  Many term Gay Rights as the 
> new Brown or new Roe.  The role this court will play in terms of Gay 
> Rights from adoption to marriage to employee benefits may be a role 
> larger than any court has ever played before and decisions will be far 
> reaching.  The balance of the Court also makes this area ripe for 
> discussion.  And like Class and Race, this is an area seemingly 
> perfect for our community whether you want to throw down on the 
> politics side (the ev will be quite good) or the activism side. 
> So I will try and add more in detail over the weekend as well as 
> details on the conference itself.  In the meantime I think our 
> community would be well-served by a healthy discussion of all of these 
> issues.
> Thanks for reading,
> Chief
> Darren Elliott
> Director of Debate--KCKCC
> CEDA 2nd VP Elect
>eDebate mailing list
>eDebate at ndtceda.com

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