Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Mar/Apr 2017

• Rights to Housing Come With Strings Attached

When housing is free or subsidized, freedom to do what one wants is limited by parents, landlords, government agencies, or housing nonprofits. Consider the challenge of offering free or heavily subsidized housing to single-parent families. Society wants to help children especially, and it’s difficult for single mothers to both care for young children and work full time. A grandparent, boyfriend, or husband can make life easier, but can also abruptly end housing and other subsidies.

• Messy Federalism, Housing Rights, & Free Housing in Finland

Federalism is a messy political system. Every state has its own housing policy, as does every city and county. …  Finland’s success in ending homelessness started nonprofit assistance to provide housing and rental contract rather than complex housing and homeless assistance programs.

• Affordable and Diverse Housing in Houston

…development, with without the complexities, delays, and litigation surrounding zoning, housing costs are low in Houston, welcoming immigrants from around the world. Families pay far less for rent or mortgages, keeping the cost of living lower.

Plus, housing the homeless is a lot less complicated and expensive in Houston. Around the country zoning regulations are used to block or delay low-cost housing as well as both public and private temporary housing for homeless people.

• A Right to Housing that Governments Should Protect?

So, at least two kinds of challenges in debating a right to housing: one is expanding options for safe and afforable housing for low-income families, and the other is finding housing solutions for people with behavior problems, from alcohol and drug addictions to mental illness.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Jan/Feb 2017

• Free Speech on College Campuses?
Campus speech is in the news with the recent riot at the University of California at Berkeley. How should a universities respond to student, faculty, or guest speakers whose talks are deemed by some as intolerant, insulting, or provoking outrage? Well, Congress is barred from making laws “abridging the freedom of speech.”

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2016 Nov/Dec

Resolved: The United States ought to limit qualified immunity for police officers.

• Limit Immunity for Police? Or Protecting Rogue Officers?



Older Resolutions

Resolved: Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power.


Debate Central Resources

• The Economics and Ethics of Nuclear Power

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Browse articles about LD debate


Key Concepts in Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Understanding the Value-Criterion

This in-depth discussion of the value criterion will help you understand the function of the criterion and different ways to prove that it achieves your value premise.

Common LD Values

Debate Central has summarized common LD value premises to help you understand basic LD debate.

Guide to Popular Philosophers

This guide will help you understand popular philosophers used in LD debate!

Glossary of Important Terminology in LD Debate

A reference to clarify any LD words and jargon you might not understand.

Outline of an LD Debate

Your at-a-glance outline of the structure of a Lincoln-Douglas debate round, including speech times, prep time, etc.


Resources from prior months

March/April 2016: Middle East Democracy Promotion

Resolved: The United States ought to promote democracy in the Middle East.

Topic Guide for Aff & Neg

January/February 2016: Handgun Ban

Resolved: In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.

Topic Guide for Aff & Neg

November/December 2015: Jury Nullification

Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.

Topic Guide for Aff & Neg

September/October 2015: Autonomous Adolescent Medical Choices

Resolved: Adolescents ought to  have the right to make autonomous medical choices.
Topic Guide for Aff & Neg

NSDA Nationals 2015: Inaction in the Face of Injustice

Resolved: Inaction in the face of injustice makes individuals morally culpable.
Topic Guide for Aff & Neg

March/April 2015: Food Security
Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.
Topic Guide for Aff & Neg

January/February 2015: Living Wage
Resolved: A Just Government Ought to Require Employers to Pay a Living Wage.
Topic Guide for Aff & Neg

Nationals 2014 Topic: National Security vs. Digital Privacy
Resolved: The United States ought to prioritize the pursuit of national security objectives above the digital privacy of its citizens.
Affirmative Topic Analysis
Negative Topic Analysis

March/April 2014 Topic: Humanitarian Aid
Resolved: Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust.

November/December 2013: Attorney-Client Privilege
Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege.

March/April 2013: Latin America
Resolved: The continuation of current U.S. anti-drug policies in Latin America will do more harm than good.

January/February 2012: Criminal Justice.
Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system.

Fall 2012 UIL:
Resolved: The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010) ruling undermines democracy in the United States.

November/December 2012:Universal Health Care.
Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee universal health care for its citizens.

September/October: Due Process
Resolved: The United States ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due process protections it grants to citizens.

Spring 2012 UIL: Right to water.
Resolved: Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity.

March/April 2012: Targeted Killings
Resolved:  Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.

January/February 2012 NFL:Domestic violence
Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.

November/December 2011 NFL: Moral Obligations
Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.

September/October 2011 NFL:Animal rights.
Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

Fall 2011 UIL: Capital Punishment.
Resolved: Capital punishment in Texas is unjust.