[eDebate] The Idea of a Case Area

Paul Johnson paulj567
Sat May 27 17:00:02 CDT 2006

What does that even mean? one the eminent examples
used in this discussion on the topic blog is the idea
of ruling on a particular "area" by using another
"area"- ie. using the first amendment as a method to
overturn dont ask, dont tell (which i put in the gay
rights category, but it also prolly belongs in the
category of deference). it seems like we cant really
pick an area. or that picking just one would lead to a
topic that was damn big enough.

lets take search and seizure- umm Mapp vs. Ohio,
considered by most scholars to be one of the most
important 4th amendment decisions of all time by
allowing for the incorporation of the exclusionary
rule at the state level, was actually a case about the
first amendment which the court essentially called up
to be activist on criminal rights <god i miss the
warren court>. i suppose this wanders into the "aff
creativity" field that gabe is so fond of. the
following areas strike me as monstrously and
incredibly huge- free speech, search and seizure/4th
amendment, criminal procedure/law enforcement, and
equal protection, like gabe says, are all INCREDIBLY

the approach to examine more is the tests approach
advocated on the topic blog. people really advocate
revising and changing these tests, and they are
legally applied by judiciaries all the time in the
course of attempting to enforce court decisions. while
the idea of "overrule x decision" style topic is
incredibly attractive to somebody like me who is a
legal research junky, i need to see some evidence that
"overrule" is a term of art than anyone advocates.

in a couple days i will try to bear some of this out
with some research.


--- gabe murillo <gabejmurillo at yahoo.com> wrote:

> JT, 
> I am relying a lot on a Colbert-ian notion of
> truthiness for this stuff b/c I have not had time to
> do the research, but here are my thoughts.. 
> --- J T <jtedebate at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Of course, you can't just randomly list off
> > areas...you need terms of art like "law
> enforcement"
> even if law enforcement was the only area, that
> seems
> huge to me, search and seizure (this includes terry
> stops, questions of flight, wiretaps, programs like
> carnivore, etc), lethal force, torture,
> interrogation,
> miranda rights, plus all the questions of the WoT...
> > "1st amendment protections" "health law"...sorry
> but
> > "1st amendment" is far from broad! 
> how many cases would be allowed under a 1st
> amendment
> topic? and I guess I still am curious how you decide
> what a 1st amendment case is, whose decision do you
> use, etc? and health law? does that include
> abortion?
> ADA?  
> >or abortion...how
> > broad could that possibily be? Really?  
> I don't know (this is my problem with areas... there
> isn't a discussion on how broad each area is!) but
> since it seems like the literature I've read for
> that
> area uses the terms "reproductive freedom / rights",
> I'm not 100% sold on "abortion" being a good term
> for
> an area, I'm not sure that it would include anything
> but roe... since the other decisions seem more to
> focus on questions of parental consent, mandatory
> waiting periods etc, and not the legality of
> abortion
> itself, that may seem trivial, but I think its
> definitely something to consider. and if this
> intrepretation is true, then reproductive rights
> significantly broadens that area. 
> > "Equal
> > protection" is also a legal term of art
> and a huge area for a topic! anything can be argued
> under equal protection grounds! disability rights,
> gender issues, sexuality issues, race, class, etc
> etc,
> especially given the confusion over who defines the
> area of the case! 
> > ....I get
> > what you're saying, but you and Gabe falsely
> > exaggerate the breadth of these areas...
> I'm open to be proven wrong... just because things
> are
> terms of art does not make them limiting!
> espeicially
> in the context of the resolutions discussed 
> > I have yet to see a good discussion about the
> length
> > of such a list 3 areas, 5? 7? 
> if we do have an area topic I can only hope that it
> is
> one area!! I cannot imagine a list of multiple areas
> being managable for a lot of teams! I can barely
> imagine one area producing predictable debates, much
> less multiple 
> > I think this
> > discussion would go along way to determine the
> types
> > of areas we choose....this is also true for any of
> > you who want a list of cases
> that is true, I think if areas is the focus we
> should
> focus on what 1 area can provide the amount of aff
> flexibility people desire without devistating
> negative
> strategy. 
> gabe 
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