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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Haley Heerdt (San Diego Christian College) vs. Opposition: Jeff Aberman (Binghamton University)

Judge: Brandon Evans (Binghamton University)

Resolution: Choice of Three

  • Haley Heerdt
    Haley Heerdt
    vs.



    Jeff Aberman
    Jeff Aberman
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    Speech Details

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    Posted at N/A by Haley Heerdt

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    Posted at N/A by N/A

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    Posted at October 28, 2013 11:18:53PM EST by Haley Heerdt

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    Posted at November 5, 2013 02:30:14AM EST by Jeff Aberman

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    Posted at November 11, 2013 03:31:44PM EST by Haley Heerdt

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    Status

    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at November 12, 2013 01:49:35PM EST by Brandon Evans

    Category Haley Heerdt Jeff Aberman
    Use of evidence: 4.6 3.9
    Delivery skill: 4.9 4
    Coherence of arguments: 4.3 3.7
    Responsiveness to opponent: 4 3.2
    Identification of key points: 4.5 4.2
    Comments: Proposition Constructive: Very well organized. I don't think you need to separate your harms and your benefits because most of your benefits are that you solved the harms you previously listed. It also might be better to define your plan closer to when you explain how your plan solves so that the lines are more clearly drawn and you don't need to repeat yourself. Making these changes would allow you to save time, which could then be used to either make more arguments or expand on the ones already in the speech. Some of your points were blippy; some arguments need to be emphasized and more passionate than others.

    Proposition Rebuttal: You're right to explain why your restriction isn't vague like he characterized COPA, but you should take the next step and explain why your plan's clarity allows you to overcome his disadvantage of affecting freedom of speech. You spend too much time on explaining why your plan would be constitutional. The New Jersey and California example is fine, but you don't need to go into as much detail regarding how the Westboro Baptist Church is also restricted. Revenge Porn is not the WBC; articulate why the privacy of the victims in this instance supersedes the right to "free speech", which I think is a questionable framing of this debate in the first place because the people being recorded did not consent to publishing themselves being recorded, so I wouldn't call revenge porn being "freely given". You should make an argument that you utilize fiat, which means that this debate is not about what is legally possible in the status quo, but what should be, which means you do not have to prove constitutionality in order to get access to your plan. You did a good job of explaining why your impact matters and alluded to his impact being minuscule, but you should do a better job comparing the two.

    Proposition Rebuttal: Should have spent more time extending your arguments regarding how some freedom of speech is not worth protecting instead of making articulations that make this point but are seemingly new, like making the privacy claims that I explained above that I wish were in the Proposition Rebuttal. I'm not comfortable voting on seemingly new arguments in the final rebuttal, barring very rare circumstances. You should have also extended your arguments about how your restriction was in fact limited to the point that it would not trigger his impact of violating the 1st Amendment. This could have been a very different decision if the impact calculus of the other team was better.
    Opposition Constructive: It's called the resolution, not the resolved. You should not call the status quo a plan, though you can advocate for it. Good pace, very easy to follow. You put all of your eggs in one basket when you frame everything in terms of 1st Amendment Rights. I am not convinced that the 1st Amendment is inherently important in all instances without A. an explanation as to why the one restriction performed by the plan is a unique violation of it that causes serious harms, and B. an explanation of how your harms outweigh the massive harms shown by the proposition. Your warrants are also far too grounded in tradition / constitutionality; there needs to be a reason why following the constitution is important as I don't look to the law for my morals. For example, the 3/5ths clause of the constitution was bad and racist even if it was part of the constitution, and I don't care if our founding fathers are rolling in their graves for us rendering it moot by the 13th amendment.

    Opposition Rebuttal & Closing: You can't make new topicality arguments in the rebuttal, especially as she preempted it in her first speech. You also need reasons why her not being perfectly topical under your interpretation of the resolution is enough of a reason to a priori vote her down. Make claims of the fairness and education lost by her supposedly breaking the rules. You need to impact out topicality just like any other argument. You repeat many of your points from the previous speech without further expansion, points of which I have already highlighted the flaws. Regulation not existing in other states is not automatically a reason that regulation is bad; it's a relatively new issue, and the individual states are slow at passing legislation like this where there are probably no high publicity incidents of revenge porn in their state, which is a reason why it might be a good idea to pass the plan nationally. You start articulating an impact to not respecting federalism, but your articulation is not very definitive. Don't say "Where would the affirmative draw the line?", but instead say "Her legislation justifies other massive violations of free speech", give an example that clearly is justified by her legal standards, and explain why that example matters. Otherwise, it sounds like a slippery slope fallacy. You would be better off if you organized your speech into a section where you discuss your arguments (Off Case) and where you discuss her arguments (On Case).

    The decision is for the Proposition: Haley Heerdt

    Reason for Decision:

    Passing the plan is worth trying if it saves a single life as that has consistently been argued as something more important than the marginal 1st Amendment violation that may or may not occur as a result of the plan.


    2 Comments

    Jeff: I am sorry that you do not agree with my decision, but I stand firmly behind it. Topicality and theory debates are often the hardest ones to win. Here are things that are almost always required to win a topicality debate:

    A. An interpretation: a definition of what is topical under this resolution that excludes what the proposition has done (the violation). Such an interpretation should have a clear bright-line, which means that I can easily tell what is topical and what is not topical. It should also be backed by evidence, especially legal or field-contextual evidence. You merely assert that her plan is not a heavy regulation, and I might personally agree with you, but certainly you can agree that the term "heavy" is subjective and up to interpretation. I cannot vote based on my own personal biases, but only on what was argued in the round. You begin to list things that the proposition would have to do to be topical, which I can evaluate as an interpretation, but this is a mere assertion. Such interpretations are self-serving, and as such, I have no reason to prefer your interpretation over her counter-interpretation, which is that revenge pornography is a heavy regulation because it's significant, relevant, and a current, major controversial topic, as proven by the amount of evidence both sides were able to accumulate for this round.

    B. Standards: Reasons why the proposition's violation substantively hurts the debate. Examples of standards that would work in this round are Ground, which means the proposition has no way of generating good arguments against the case, and Limits, which means that she justifies an unreasonable amount of cases that would be impossible to research.

    C. Voters: Reasons why not meeting these standards have ruined the debate to the point of discarding it. The most common voters are fairness and education. The closest thing you provided implicitly as a voter is jurisdiction, or that I cannot vote for an un-topical plan because doing so would not be affirming the resolution. This is a weak standard for me unless topicality is completely dropped, and it is easily outweighed by the education claim made by the proposition that a debate regarding all forms of pornography would have little focus, and as such, "it provides a widespread, messy debate that briefly glosses over many topics."

    All of this needs to occur in the constructive speech. This is especially true when the proposition explicitly preempted topicality in her first speech (Smart move on her part) and extended it properly in each subsequent speech. Even if I allowed new arguments in a rebuttal that didn't directly respond to new arguments made in the previous speech, which is almost universally looked down upon by the debate community, you essentially conceded that she's topical coming out of her first speech, which means I have to grant her counter-interpretation as preferable. Even if the debate started in your last speech, her counter-interpretation accesses a voter that outweighs your implicit voter, so I have no choice but to discard your topicality argument.

    Even if the topicality debate went radically differently, if you want to win topicality, you need to use most, if not all of your final speech on it. The defending team usually has presumption on questions of procedural arguments. In higher level debates, you would face a plethora of defensive arguments against topicality, such as reasonability, which means that if the counter-interpretation is good enough, I should allow it, or no in-round abuse, which means if the opposition doesn't prove that this specific round hurt education or fairness as a result of them not being topical, I shouldn't vote them down. You need to really sell topicality and make sure there is no way out for the proposition to win it.

    I'm sorry that you think my comparison to the 3/5ths amendment is irrelevant, but I just wanted to illustrate how non-compelling arguments regarding the law and the constitution are. The goal of debates regarding policy is to decide how the law ought be, not what it is. As such, violating the constitution is not an impact, and several debaters make this mistake. Now, you could argue that violating the constitution in this instance sets a precedent that allows for other violations that result in actual impacts like I explained above, but absent that, I weigh the life of a single person as more important than violating the constitution, especially when I believe she is winning that her specific act is constitutional, or at least as much as your example of ideal regulating programs in the status quo.

    Feel free to ask any questions regarding my decision. I would ask you to look to this round to learn how to improve as opposed to being discouraged by the results. Both of you appear to be solid debaters, but based on what occurred in this round, I believe the decision was clear. - Brandon Evans on November 14, 2013 at 12:55PM EST
    Regulating revenge Porn is not heavily regulating internet pornography. Also you bringing up the 3/5ths amendment has no role here. - Jeff Aberman on November 13, 2013 at 01:01AM EST

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