Federal Jurisprudence

Federal Jurisprudence

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The following consists of the complete season releases from for the Lincoln-Douglas value topic listed below. Upon purchase, you will have access to a ZIP file containing the material listed. Take note of the release dates, as the timing may conflict with arguments of the current year.

Resolved: In the United States federal jurisprudence, the letter of the law ought to have priority over the spirit of the law.

Part I: Articles
  • “What Does it Mean? Double Rainbow!”
    • Resolutional Definitions and Analysis
    • Jurisprudence
    • Priority
    • Letter of the Law
    • Spirit of the Law
    • Conclusion:
  • “Red Law, Blue Law, One Law, Two Law”
    • Judicial Branch: Enforcer, Interpreter or Censor?
    • Legal Formalism:
    • Legal Realism:
    • Legal Process Theory:
    • Jurisprudence in the United States
    • How Judicial Review and Interpretation Functions in the Real World and in the Resolution
  • “Spirit and Letter of the Law According to Philosophy”
    • Philosophical Insight to the Resolution
    • Introduction
    • Biblical Analysis
    • Moving into Modernity
    • The Manifestation in Early America
    • Conclusion
    • Citations
  • “Understanding the Understanding of the Law”
    • Court Room Applications
    • Introduction
    • Understanding the Letter of the Law
    • Understanding the Spirit of the Law
    • Conclusion
  • “Controlling the Narrative with Centered Cases”
    • Framework and Application Structure
    • Different Cases
    • Applications
  • “How To Not Be Annoying”
    • A Guide in Value Strategy
    • Value Theory
    • A Unique Resolution
  • Strategy
Part II: Affirmative Cases
  • “Can’t Buy My Love (Or Justice)”
    • Value: Equality before the Law
    • Definitions:
    • Value: Equality before the Law
    • Criterion: Due Process
    • Contention 1: Prioritizing the Spirit of the Law Threatens Due Process
    • Contention 2: Prioritizing the Letter of the Law Protects Due Process
    • Conclusion:
    • Negative Brief
    • Framework: Value and Criteria
    • Contention 1: Defense of Marriage Act
    • Contention 2: Calabretta v. Floyd
  • “Don’t Go Rock’n the Boat”
    • Value: Stability
    • Introduction:
    • Definitions:
    • Value:
    • Contention 1: Stability Requires Predictability
    • Contention 2: Judicial Legislating is Inherently Destabilizing.
    • Conclusion:
    • Negative Brief
  • “Do the Things for Less Vagueness and Stuff”
    • Anti-Value: Vagueness
    • Value link 1: Vagueness opposes the goal of jurisprudence.
    • Value Link 2: Vagueness provides a weighing mechanism.
    • Contention 1: The spirit of the law creates vagueness.
    • Contention 2: the letter of the law eliminates vagueness.
    • Conclusion:
    • Defense
  • “Power to the People”
    • Value: Democracy
    • Introduction:
    • Definitions:
    • Resolutional Analysis: Priority doesn’t mean exclusivity
    • Contention 1: Priority to the Spirit Increases Judicial Power
    • Contention 2: Increased Judicial Power threatens Democracy
    • Contention 3: The Letter of the Law is more Democratic
    • Conclusion:
    • Negative Brief
Part III: Negative Cases
  • “The Spirit of Justice”
    • Value: Justice
    • Definitions
    • Contention 1: The Letter of the Law is Unjust
    • Contention 2: The Spirit of the Law is Just
    • Brief
  • “I Meant What I Said”
    • Value: Normative Meaning
    • Introduction:
    • Value: Normative Meaning
    • Reason to Prefer 1: Basis of Language
    • Reason to Prefer 2: Basis of Jurisprudence
    • Contention 1: Letter has no Meaning
    • Contention 2: Spirit is Meaningful
    • Negative Notes
    • Affirmative Notes
  • “Red - A World About To Dawn!”
    • Value: Security, Criteria: Justice
    • Introduction:
    • Resolutional Analysis:
    • Example 1: Equal Standard
    • Example 2: Commerce Clause
    • Conclusion:
    • Affirmative Brief
  • “What Makes the World Spin?”
    • Value: General Welfare
    • Introduction:
    • Value Analysis:
    • Contention 1: The Letter and the Spirit do not Exist Independently.
    • Contention 2: Proper Interpretation Seeks General Welfare
    • Conclusion:
    • Negative Notes
    • Definitions:
    • Resolutional Analysis:
    • Contention 2:
    • Dealing with refutation:
    • Affirmative Notes

History of This Resolution


The photo for this edition was taken at the 2014 National Invitational Tournament of Champions during the semi-final round between Rebekah Vehrs and Phillip Allevato, both contributors to this Red Book. Rebekah ended up winning the round and advancing to finals. This resolution was one of two resolutions put forth by the Stoa Speech and Debate League. The other resolution on Speech vs. Moral Standards was also run by Lincoln-Douglas debaters.