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Here is an example of making a generic argument on the fly. I’ve had two requests for coaching sessions this week on that topic. There are only two things you need to be able to do it, and it’s the most powerful kind of arguments, so you should be focusing on these two things:

  1. Topic Knowledge – This includes basic civics, like understanding the Constitution, roles of government, agencies associated with the topic area, and high-level statistics and knowledge of what transpires inside of the topic.
  2. Disadvantage Structure – You need to know the parts of a disadvantage.

Here is an example of coming up with an argument on the fly. It’s like parli prep, except it’s for TP in the NCFCA topic. All of you have this knowledge if you know about the Constitution and enumerated powers of Congress, and are capable of building a strategy like this.

(note: I left it messy/informal because we’re focusing on the “on the fly” aspect of developing our strategies… not talking about how we write briefs or work with infinite research and prep time)

A Strategy on the Fly

Abigail Lovett:

Is that even topical? [name of team removed] (who creamed us last time we debated them) are removing federal jurisdiction from non violent crimes. Seems like you’d do that in the Legislative branch just by abolishing those laws.

Isaiah Mcpeak:

::facepalm:: that’s not topical.

Here’s why:

1. A COURT SYSTEM is like an empty container. It simply is filled by what flows into it or not. To change what does or doesn’t flow into it doesn’t change the system. It’s still there.

2. The FEDERAL non-violent crime laws, made by Congress, are the only ones that go to FEDERAL courts. The FEDERAL laws determine what water flows to FEDERAL buckets. They have ZERO POWER to fill state buckets.

3. STATE court systems are filled by THEIR OWN laws, which vary from state to state. For the feds to vacate non-violent crimes (espionage, corporate fraud, tax evasion) simply means these crimes are unenforced, b/c aff CANNOT FIAT state governments to A) Make new laws, and B) Enforce them. State Courts don’t have jurisdiction, and may not even want it. Example: drug laws. FEDERAL laws are against drugs, state laws are ambiguous, for drugs, and against drugs – varying by state.

Abigail Lovett:

They argue that since they’re state AND federal laws that the states will just take over complete jurisdiction.

Right. So if it wasn’t for the federal government, a state government could legalize heroin and there wouldn’t be anything we could do.

Isaiah Mcpeak:

4. Disadvantage: criminals go free. It costs a HUGE AMOUNT to enforce big cases. The FBI, USCIS, ATF, and DEA are all federal agencies who can undertake massive investigations. We’re talking Bernie Madoff, Lehman Brothers, and so on. There is ZERO jurisdiction by states for when Bernie Madoff steals the retirement accounts in a ponzie scheme, across all kinds of state boundaries.

5. Disadvantage: chaos on will of the people. Our representative government was given certain duties that the states knew they could not do individually. Forget that states don’t have the power, there is a need for certain uniformity. Here are some Article 1 Section 8 (enumerated powers of Congress in the Constitution) duties that would have to rely on various state laws, who are independent and cannot be forced to be uniform.

A) “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” B) “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States” C) “coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures” D) “provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States” E) “establish Post Offices and post Roads” F) “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries” (patents)

Give example for each one now being up to each state and their budgets (crushing), willpower (will vary), state opinion (will vary), and lack of jurisdiction. e.g. A) Immigration is willy-nilly, B) Bankruptcies enforced only in some states, C) States can now make their own currencies and nobody can stop them, etc etc

Note F is the entire patent office!! Patent infringement now happens and businesses can’t make life saving drugs and stuff.


6. Who is going to enforce in a court of law the disputes between states (also non-violent). See section 9 and 10 of article I of the constitution. It includes things like who will enforce if you don’t pay your FEDERAL income taxes, granting titles of nobility, states entering into treaties/alliances, and states laying tariffs on other states (yes, you’re taxed to trade from California to Nevada).

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