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Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.

 

Authority - The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

 

Either - the one or the other

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition

 

Detain - to hold or keep in custody or possession

Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law

 

 

 

Charge - To make a claim of wrongdoing against; accuse or blame

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Copyright

 

 

 

Search - To make a careful examination or investigation of

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

 

 

 

Probable Cause - evidence sufficient to warrant an arrest or search and seizure

WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

 

 

So with these definitions the USFG should substantially decrease its authority to detain without charge OR the USFG should substantially decrease its authority to search without probable cause. The aff is arguably not topical if they do both.

 

 

 

Also, there is no mention of a policy action at all in this resolution. Compare it to the last one “Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing support for United Nations Peace Keeping Operations”. Clearly there is a policy action to be taken and thus affs are likely to present a plan in order to affirm the resolution. With the new resolution there is no policy action at all. It can be treated somewhat like a Lincoln Douglas resolution where no plans are submitted and the aff simply affirms the resolution by explaining why it is true. It becomes much more possible for affs to abstain from running any sort of plan at all (although the majority probably will). On the negative this is going to be an interesting debate. All sorts of topicality can be run depending on the interpretation of the resolution. Using the interpretation that I provided above the affirmative can only advocate one of the two actions because doing both would be extra topical. Also, nothing says “in the United States” so like many others have said, Guantanamo Bay is a viable case. A lot of Foucaultian kritikal affs could show up talking about how this decreases the panoptic control of the state and reduces biopower but these shouldn’t be too hard to argue against. Many authors often used in Kritiks (including Foucault, I believe) assert that the state can easily say that they are making reforms and reducing their own authority and that they do so often, in fact, to conceal even more of the truth.

 

 

 

Normativity will be harder to argue against some affirmatives that do not present a plan. If they are not presenting a plan or claiming any sort of fiat then they are not trying to act as the USFG. Obviously norm can still be run because policy debate itself is arguably a normative activity but without fiat and the pretense of being the USFG the link is less obvious.

 

 

 

I can see a lot of Bauman kritiks of moral obligations because a lot of people will likely claim the immorality of detaining people at Guantanamo or of the USAPATRIOT Act or of whatever else they choose to argue (drug laws, hacking, etc.).

 

 

 

There will be the usual slew of politics disadvantages about how reducing government authority does this and that and ultimately leads to nuclear war. Counterplans will be somewhat more interesting because there is no option of alternate actor counterplans when the resolution talks about the scope of USFG power. Some sort of a states counterplan would be more likely and probably quite powerful in some cases. I can see people running disadvantages about increased terrorism or some other threat that they can claim to solve for as a net benefit by giving the power to the states instead of the USFG, also they could argue some sort of Federalism bad arguments that they can avoid as well. Maybe. This is all just speculation taken to an extreme.

 

 

 

There will be the same general kritiks of language that there always are, the same kritiks of threat construction, probably others. Foucault actually links well to the topic which is nice because at least people aren’t just bullshitting the link like I have seen in many, many cases this year. This topic should be interesting for all of us. (I liked the other one better though).

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Yeah this is really LD. And it sucks. Nothing against Lincoln Douglas debators but if I wanted to do that kind of debating then I would have chosen to do so...

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Kinda funny that they left that word out when they simply could have said, "Resolved: The United States federal government should establish (or create) a policy substantially decreasing its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause".

 

Whoever wrote the rez was a dumbass.

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They leave out establish a ___ policy for every domestic resolution

 

The other option: The United States federal government should substantially change its federal election system.

 

MHC: The United States federal government should substantially increase public health services for mental health care in the United States.

 

It doesn't uniquely allow for performance and whole rez affs because the resolution never said that debaters should propose a policy, it said the United States federal government should establish the policy, thus never actually calling for the debaters to propose a plan.

 

And the intent of the resolution probably was to allow for guantanamo bay cases.

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This is obviously stupid...but I could maybe see someone saying this next year: If "either" means "one or the other" and the aff chooses one part (let's say the ability to detain)...and the negative then proves that the USFG should do the other half too (in this case, the ability to search)...hasn't the negative negated the resolution? I mean, couldn't it be construed that there is a burden on the affirmative to prove the "OR" part of the resolution (that the USFG should not do BOTH)?

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This is obviously stupid...but I could maybe see someone saying this next year: If "either" means "one or the other" and the aff chooses one part (let's say the ability to detain)...and the negative then proves that the USFG should do the other half too (in this case, the ability to search)...hasn't the negative negated the resolution? I mean, couldn't it be construed that there is a burden on the affirmative to prove the "OR" part of the resolution (that the USFG should not do BOTH)?

 

If someone were to do this, plan focus good arguments would become even more persuasive and true.

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Kinda funny that they left that word out when they simply could have said, "Resolved: The United States federal government should establish (or create) a policy substantially decreasing its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause".

 

Whoever wrote the rez was a dumbass.

 

What an asinine, fatuous, and offensive comment. I think it unanimous that Dr. Glass, the author of next years resolution, is one of the most well-respected and influential members of the debate community. His teams have had phenomenal success in years past and he has been an active coach and framer for over a decade. Perhaps you remember the awesome WMD topic... he wrote that one as well. Obviously coaches and framers across the nation thought Civil Liberties was the best of the five topic choices. Dumbass? Couldn't be further from the truth. Don't make empty comments without any warrants, it just makes YOU look like a dumbass - I don't recall seeing the word "policy" in the federal elections resolution...oh wait, it wasn't there.

 

- Zach

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The purpose of foreign is to mandate an international topic and exclude domestic options, which is required once every three years. Foreign is an adjective - it needs to modify a noun in order to serve its limiting function. Policy acts as that noun. "Foreign" and "Ocean" had a limiting function - "policy" alone does not. Framers aren't idiots, quite the opposite in fact - they don't include random words just for kicks, or to please idiots like you.

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If someone were to do this, plan focus good arguments would become even more persuasive and true.

 

 

or... you could just perm it... right?

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Ok so the attack on the framers was pretty inappropriate, I think the resolution was worded the way it was on purpose. Whether or not we like it really doesn't matter. All I wanted to do was analyze the effects this has on debate. Personally I respect the framer's quite a bit.

 

And to Sporks, I don't see any reason for you to call anyone who analyzes a different form of resolutional wording an "idiot". If you were just talking about the lockesdonkey guy then it makes more sense though...

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Counterplans will be somewhat more interesting because there is no option of alternate actor counterplans when the resolution talks about the scope of USFG power. Some sort of a states counterplan would be more likely and probably quite powerful in some cases. I can see people running disadvantages about increased terrorism or some other threat that they can claim to solve for as a net benefit by giving the power to the states instead of the USFG, also they could argue some sort of Federalism bad arguments that they can avoid as well. Maybe. This is all just speculation taken to an extreme.

 

I disagree; I think that many debates will come down to which agent of the United States federal government is the best to effectuate change. I think the Supreme Court has the upperhand in this regard and has dealt with Civil Liberties cases in the past (Civil Rights in 60's, abortion, terrorism/nat'l security vs. individual liberties). However it may be harder to win a politics net benefit against court affs because Bush is largely perceived as putting nat'l security over individual rights. Obviously, Congress and the Executive could be agents, but given their recent switch to the right, I doubt are many authors advocating these two branches over the Court.

 

A smart aff will run a case that doesn't deal with terrorism to avoid the slew of terrorism disads that will probably outweigh any aff. Just pick a 4th amendment case and overturn it.

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And who says another country can't decrease our ability to detain without charge or to search without probable cause?

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Baumz -

How would you plan on using the Judicial branch as your agent? They can't pass a policy or anything. There would have to be a lawsuit going through all the other levels of the judiciary before reaching the supreme court where it would finally be instituted. Also, the courts have no enforcement power, even if the court were to repeal a civil liberties decision then they would be unable to enforce it, that is up to the executive branch to execute the law. Don't take this as criticism, I really want to know how this would work because it might be pretty cool.

 

xacalite -

How would you pull this off? I can't think of a legitimate reason why allowing other nations to control the USFG's authority would be net beneficial. The only thing I can see would be maybe the UN reducing the authority. Even then it would be pretty hard to explain how some other group could reduce the USFG's authority. Again, not criticism, I just want more info.

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Why not have a CP that says the UN will reduce the ability of the US to detain w/o charge in other countries? ie IRAQ

 

Perm

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Baumz -

How would you plan on using the Judicial branch as your agent? They can't pass a policy or anything. There would have to be a lawsuit going through all the other levels of the judiciary before reaching the supreme court where it would finally be instituted. Also, the courts have no enforcement power, even if the court were to repeal a civil liberties decision then they would be unable to enforce it, that is up to the executive branch to execute the law. Don't take this as criticism, I really want to know how this would work because it might be pretty cool.

 

No hard feelings - I'd only get defensive if you make an unwarranted ad hom attack on my coach.

 

Yes, the Courts can't legislate, but how is Court action enforced in the real world? The law is changed and then the relevant actor enforces the change like the police or government. If the Court, for example, ruled that all kids had to wear school uniforms, who would enforce that policy? The police.

 

In order to run a courts aff, you have to fiat a test case, which is fiating a law suit and the subsequent decision by the court. Although some may theoretically object, I think this form of private actor fiat is legitimate because it's still government action, and you're not fiating the object of the resolution, so no unreasonable abuses of fiat are justified by this interpretation. It's the same as fiating Congressional action; the plan has to be approved by 515 Congresspeople and you have to fiat they create a new piece of legislation, so why can't you do the same for the courts?

 

I think it's a whole lot more strategic than using Congress and the Executive because it allows you to avoid politics, which is a perenially popular disad that will outweigh most affs next year.

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Besides, in other countries if not the US, legislative and executive bodies have been known to ask their supreme judiciary for its opinion on the legality/constitutionality of an action. The Supreme Court has also been known to ask for new arguments on cases it already decided --- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka becoming Brown v. Board of Education (or was it the other way around?) being the prime example. If your courts affirmative was overturning a particular case, you could just fiat the SC asking for new arguments and overturning it.

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"If the Court, for example, ruled that all kids had to wear school uniforms, who would enforce that policy? The police."

 

I agree with much of what Baumz says, but the statement quoted above illustrates a problem I have with court action/court counterplans. The court cannot rule that all kids have to wear school uniforms. That is a legislative, not a judicial, action. The court can invalidate legislative action if it feels the action is unconstitutional: it could for example, say that the requirement that students have to wear school uniforms is unenforceable. The court can also interpret statutes. If there were a statute saying all students must wear school uniforms, a court could carve out exceptions to the general rule.

 

As applied to next year's topic, a court could overturn a prior decision; I see no problem with that as affirmative ground. I would be amenable to an argument that the Supreme Court should find all or part of the Patriot Act (or some other act) unconstitutional, which would have the effect of invalidating that act (or the unconstitutional part). I could even see an argument that the Supreme Court should interpret the Patriot Act so as to mean X. I guess if the affirmative uses congressional action, the courts could be a legitimate counterplan on those issues.

 

I don't think a plan or counterplan, however, can take steps requiring action, unless there is underlying legislation that already requires executive administrative action.

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Assuming the aff advocates governmental policy action, how legitimate would a "multiple action" affirmative be under this resolution, since it lacks the word "a"? For example, a case that passes a bunch of policies, ie Patriot Act, internet privacy, gitmo...etc, all in the same 1AC. I guess for it to work effectively, the policies would have to interact with each other in such a way that they would cancel out or turn all possible DAs that apply to just one of the policies.

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"If the Court, for example, ruled that all kids had to wear school uniforms, who would enforce that policy? The police."

 

I agree with much of what Baumz says, but the statement quoted above illustrates a problem I have with court action/court counterplans. The court cannot rule that all kids have to wear school uniforms. That is a legislative, not a judicial, action. The court can invalidate legislative action if it feels the action is unconstitutional: it could for example, say that the requirement that students have to wear school uniforms is unenforceable. The court can also interpret statutes. If there were a statute saying all students must wear school uniforms, a court could carve out exceptions to the general rule.

 

As applied to next year's topic, a court could overturn a prior decision; I see no problem with that as affirmative ground. I would be amenable to an argument that the Supreme Court should find all or part of the Patriot Act (or some other act) unconstitutional, which would have the effect of invalidating that act (or the unconstitutional part). I could even see an argument that the Supreme Court should interpret the Patriot Act so as to mean X. I guess if the affirmative uses congressional action, the courts could be a legitimate counterplan on those issues.

 

I don't think a plan or counterplan, however, can take steps requiring action, unless there is underlying legislation that already requires executive administrative action.

 

There is already instances of executive administrative action that is in effect right now.

 

for instance, the detaining of people in guantanamo bay. i mean holding the people in cuba so that they quote unquote don't have the right to have their voices heard in our court... that seems to really violate ones civil liberty.

 

The court, could, for example, rule that it is in violation of the 14th amendments equal protection clause to not allow those to people to have their day in court, and within that ruling reiterate that one cannot be held without the rit to habeus corpus. Then the USFG is lowering its right to detain without charge, through the courts.

 

I agree with Zach that the court has been the best actor throughout history in dealing with Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (and something I have learned is that people need to learn the difference between these two, since they both deal with different things -- not all rights are liberties, etc.)

 

There is a current case on the docket about the 4th amendment -- Illinois v. Caballes...one could argue about that, claim a ruling, etc. always look at the pending docket, you can do that at http://www.oyez.com.

 

I also believe that if you are dealing with the courts, and using the ideas of searching without probable cause, that you will be dealing mostly with drug cases (ie: did the courts have the right to search the car that they found pot in?).

 

Overall, I personally believe this topic will be sweet. That is just my two cents.

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