Topics – PF Nov 2015, LD Nov/Dec 2015

The first of each month is the announcement date for topics that change the following month, so the new PF topic for November, and the new LD topic for November/December have just been posted. (You can always find any announced topics at the NSDA (NFL) Current Topics page. For LD and PF there are also the topic possibilities that could show up later in the season.)

2015 November PF Topic Area: Migrant and Refugee Crises
Resolved: In response to the current crisis, a government should prioritize the humanitarian needs of refugees over its national interests.

The post previous to this one is about updating the Dropbox-based Extemp files. There will be a lot of articles on this topic in the EU folder, as well as in the folders for specific countries – Syria, Germany, Balkans (Serbia and Croatia), Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, and a few others. One of the key questions is the difference between refugees and migrants, and how you sort that out. The Afghanistan folder has articles about people leaving for Europe – are they refugees, particularly with the fighting in the north that’s going badly for government forces, or economic migrants? The Germany folder has articles about people claiming to be Syrians, but who aren’t, because of the refugee/migrant distinction. There are also some articles that talk specifically about that distinction. Don’t forget about the people heading north from Africa, either. Check the Immigration – US folder for articles about the U.S. and Syrian refugees.

2015 November/December LD Topic
Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.

For all the years I’ve been saving things, I don’t think I have anything on this one (though I will go back through my Judiciary folder, which isn’t in the Extemp files). I do know that the Denver Post, in the past month, had some articles about protesters in favor of jury nullification being arrested in front of one of the Denver courthouses (federal?), and the agreement that was eventually reached with them. The main pro/con seems to be overturning unjust laws by refusing to convict on charges involving them vs. the risk of juries doing that to protest/overturn, say, the likely conviction of someone who was white who had murdered someone who wasn’t (which happened in the 1950s and 1960s). For a quick read, try: What is Jury Nullification?

Current topic recap:

Cross-Examination Policy Debate  2015-2016 Topic
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate 2015 September/October LD Topic
Resolved: Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate 2015 September/October Novice LD Topic: Civil Disobedience
Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.

Public Forum Debate

2015 September/October PF Topic Area: Racial Justice
Resolved: The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.

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