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PAST DEBATE TOPICS / CONTENTS


• Policy Debate

Policy Debate

2013-2014 Topic
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

2013 National Tournament Topic
Resolved: Oppressive government is more desirable than no government. 

Public Forum Debate 

2013 National Tournament Topic
Resolved: The benefits of American drone strikes against foreign targets outweigh the harms.

Past Policy Topics

2012-2013
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

2011-2012
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

2010-2011
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.

2009-2010
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

2008-2009
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

Past Lincoln-Douglas Debate Topics

2012-2013

  • September/October - Resolved: The United States ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due process protections it grants to citizens.
  • November/December - Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee universal health care for its citizens.
  • January/February - Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system.
  • March/April - Resolved: The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses.
  • 2013 National Forensic League Nationals - Oppressive government is more desirable than no government.

2011-2012

  • September/October - Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.
  • November/December - Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.
  • January/February - Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
  • March/April - Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.
  • National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: A government has the obligation to lessen the economic gap between its rich and poor citizens.

2010-2011

  • September/October - Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons.
  • November/December Topic - Resolved: The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.
  • January/February - Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • March/April - Resolved: The United States is justified in using private military firms abroad to pursue its military objectives.
  • National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: When forced to choose, a just government ought to prioritize universal human rights over its national interest.

2009-2010

  • September/October - Resolved: Public High school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.
  • November/December - Resolved: Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.
  • January/February - Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.
  • March/April - Resolved: In the United States, the principle of jury nullification is a just check on government.
  • National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: Compulsory inclusion of non-felons' DNA in any government database is unjust.
  • NCFL Nationals° - Resolved: That the United States government has a moral obligation to afford the same constitutional rights to all people on United States soil.

2008-2009

  • September/October - Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.
  • November/December - Resolved: In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.
  • January/February - Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.
  • March/April - Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
  • National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: Military conscription is unjust.
  • NCFL Nationals° - Resolved: When in conflict, the preservation of minority cultural values ought to be valued above the preservation of a unified national culture.

Past Public Forum Topics

2012-2013

  • 2013 National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: The benefits of American drone strikes against foreign targets outweigh the harms.
  • April 2013 - Resolved: The continuation of current U.S. anti-drug policies in Latin America will do more harm than good.
  • March 2013 - Resolved: The U.S. government should not require its citizens to have health insurance.
  • February 2013 - Resolved: On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States.
  • January 2013 - Resolved: On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process.
  • December 2012 - Resolved: The United States should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts.
  • November 2012 - Resolved - Current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security.
  • October 2012 - Resolved: Developed countries have a moral obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
     

2011-2012

  • 2012 National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: Stand Your Ground laws are a legitimate expansion of the doctrine of self defense.
  • April 2012 - Resolved: State mandated administration of childhood vaccinations is justified.
  • March 2012 - Resolved: The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.
  • February 2012 - Resolved: Birthright citizenship should be abolished in the United States.
  • January 2012 - Resolved: The costs of a college education outweigh the benefits.
  • December 2011 - Resolved: In the United States, current income disparities threaten democratic ideals.
  • November 2011 - Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections.
  • October 2011 - Resolved: Private sector investment in human space exploration is preferable to public sector investment.
  • September 2011 - Resolved: The benefits of post-9/11 security measures outweigh the harms to personal freedom.
     

2010-2011

  • 2011 National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: That the United States should intervene in another nation's struggle for democracy.
  • April 2011 - Resolved: The United States federal government should permit the use of financial incentives to encourage organ donation.
  • March 2011 - Resolved: North Korea poses a more serious threat to United States national security than Iran.
  • February 2011 - Resolved: Wikileaks is a threat to United States national security.
  • January 2011 - Resolved: In the United States, plea bargaining undermines the criminal justice system.
  • December 2010 - Resolved: Cyberbullying should be a criminal offense.
  • November 2010 - Resolved: High school Public Forum Debate resolutions should not confront sensitive religious issues.
  • October 2010 - Resolved: NATO presence improves the lives of Afghan citizens.
  • September 2010 - Resolved: Allowing deep water offshore oil drilling is in the best interest of the United States.
     

2009-2010

  • 2010 National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: Current trends in American political dialogue compromise meaningful democratic deliberation.
  • May 2010 (NCFL°) - Resolved: That the constitutional right of freedom of religion has wrongly evolved into freedom from religion.
  • April 2010 - Resolved: On balance, government employee labor unions have a positive impact on the United States.
  • March 2010 - Resolved: Affirmative action to promote equal opportunity in the United States is justified.
  • February 2010 - Resolved: In the United States, organized political lobbying does more harm than good.
  • January 2010 - Resolved: President Obama's plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States' best interest.
  • December 2009 - Resolved: That merit pay based on student achievement should be a significant component of K-12 teacher compensation in United States public schools.
  • November 2009 - Resolved: Failed nations are a greater threat to the United States than stable nations.
  • October 2009 - Resolved: When in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection.
  • September 2009 - Resolved: United States policy on illegal immigration should focus on attrition through enforcement rather than amnesty.

2008-2009

  • 2009 National Forensic League Nationals - Resolved: That the United States should normalize relations with Cuba.
  • May 2009 (NCFL°) - Resolved: A society has an obligation to ensure adequate health care for its citizens.
  • April 2009 - Resolved: That the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 serves the best interest of the American people.
  • March 2009 - Resolved: That, on balance, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has improved academic achievement in the United States.
  • February 2009 - Resolved: That, on balance, the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) has had a positive impact on the United States.
  • January 2009 - Resolved: That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States be powered by alternative fuels.
  • December 2008 - Resolved: That, on balance, social networking Web sites have a positive impact on the United States.
  • November 2008 - Resolved: That the United States government should implement universal health care modeled after the French system.
  • October 2008 - Resolved: The United States should significantly increase its use of nuclear energy.
  • September 2008 - Resolved: That the United States should implement a military draft.

Past Storytelling Topics

Storytelling is offered as a consolation event at the National Tournament. Following are theme areas that stories had to fall within each year. In 2009, students were allowed to use any theme for telling their stories.

2013: Americana
2012: Heroism
2011: Native American Stories
2010: Fairy Tales
2009: Any theme
2008: Tales of Adventure
2007: Campfire Stories
2006: Texas Tales and Legends
2005: Fairy Tales
2004: Medieval Legends
2003: Urban Legends



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