Jacob Justice ParadigmLast changed 2/15 11:46P EDT
Debated in high school for Dexter High School. Debated 5 years at Wayne State University. Masters student at the University of Kansas.
Put me on the email chain, please. jakejustice65 at gmail.
First things first:
1) Do what you're best at. As a judge, I should adapt to you and not the other way around.
2) Arguments should have a claim, warrant, and implication. Any argument that contains a claim, data (this doesn't mean carded), warrant and implication is fair game for my ballot.
3) A dropped argument is almost always a true argument. The most common exception is if the original argument did not include the requirements in #2, in which case I might give the team that dropped the arg some leeway in hedging against an entirely new warrant or implication. Tech creates "truth". What is "truth" is contingent on arguments made (and won). I often find myself voting for arguments that I disagree with or find silly when one side executes better.
4) This is a communication activity, so clarity is important to me. I like being able to hear the text of evidence as it is being read. Enunciate! Don't talk into your laptop or read like a robot.
Context always matters. Controlling the contextual framing almost always requires hard pre-round work, and usually wins the round. I value teams that demonstrate robust knowledge of their arguments and the topic.
Clash matters a lot to me. I'm not a good judge for teams whose strategy is built around avoiding a debate. This is true regardless of which side of the K/policy spectrum any given argument falls on.
Impact comparisons are critical, no matter what flavor of debate you engage in. Does negative flexibility outweigh 2AC strategy skew? Are the 1AC’s methodological assumptions a prior question to its pragmatic implications? Does a long term warming impact outweigh a quick nuclear war scenario? In a close round, the team that provides the clearest and most well-explained answer to questions like those usually wins my ballot.
In general, it is better to a develop a small number of arguments in an in-depth manner than to develop a large number of arguments in a shallow manner, although there are certainly exceptions to this rule. Selective rebuttals are typically the most effective. That being said, I recognize the strategic benefit of the 1AR pursuing a handful of lines of argument to give the 2AR flexibility to pick-and-choose.
After judging a year of college debates, I think my biggest pet peeve is vagueness -- be that a vague plan, vague CP, or vague alt. Being clear and detailed is helpful to me as a judge.
See: my previous thoughts about clash.
Teams should defend an example of the resolution. I don't think being topical is an unreasonable expectation when the resolution does not force you to take a conservative or repugnant action (i.e., when legalizing pot or closing military bases is topical).
It is important for affirmatives to demonstrate that their advocacy is germane to the controversy of the resolution and contestable. Affirmatives should explain what type of ground they make available to the negative, and not just by referring to random author names. In other words, it's much more helpful when the affirmative frames the ground debate in terms of: "our affirmative relies on *X* assumption, which *Y* literature base writes evidence refuting" rather than just saying "you can read Baudrillard, Bataille, etc."
Teams should articulate a clear vision of what debate would look like under their interpretation. Ideally, teams should present a clear answer to questions like: "what is the purpose of debate?" Is it a game? A site for activism? Somewhere in between?
I don't think reading topicality is a means to evade clash with the substance of an affirmative -- in many instances it calls core assumptions of the affirmative into question.
Interacting with your opponents' argument is critical. It's important to isolate a clear impact to your argument and explain how it accesses/turns your opponents. Often times I find these debates to be irreconcilable because the arguments advanced by either side have disparate premises. It can be helpful to not conflate procedural justifications for topicality with normative ones, though the internal links to these things often become messy.
I am disinclined to view debate as a role-playing exercise.
I will definitely vote on it, and I have done so often. I am not a good judge for "should = past tense of shall", "reduce =/= eliminate" and other contrived interpretations negatives read against obviously topical affs. For instance, it will be difficult to convince me that an affirmative which removes the Cuban embargo is untopical, absent a massive technical error. That being said I am willing to vote on T, given that an interpretation, violation, standards, and voters are well articulated. Affirmatives should always make and extend a counter-interpretation.
It will be tough to persuade me that two conditional advocacies is egregious and unmanageable for the 2AC. Beyond that is pushing your luck.
Basically every other theoretical objection is a reason to reject the argument, not the team.
I haven't formed a solid opinion on "judge kicking" CPs, but since the aff has the burden of proof in most theory debates, I think I am comfortable putting the burden on the aff to prove why the 2NR can't simultaneously go for a CP and the SQ.
-Consult/Condition/Delay CPs – I tend to consider these types of CPs uncompetitive, and am thus receptive to perm arguments. That being said, there is a big difference in my mind between “Consult Japan on the plan” and well-evidenced CP’s that are comparative between doing the plan unconditionally, and using the plan as leverage. The latter brand of condition CP’s are few and far between.
Given my disposition to view things within a cost-benefit paradigm, I am likely to frame the critique as a disad / counterplan. This basic calculus will be different based upon the framework arguments advanced by the negative regarding ontology, epistemology, method, etc.
When indicting an affirmative's knowledge production or epistemology is imperative that you reference quotes or phrases from the 1AC which you think are flawed. It is also imperative that affirmatives defend the truth value of their 1AC's claims from these types of epistemological attacks.
I feel most comfortable in K rounds that involve a lot of interaction with the plan, the advantages, or explicit 1AC claims. There should be a coherent link, impact, and alternative. Don't assume I know what you are talking about.
Affs are best answering the K at the alt and impact level as the neg will almost certainly win a link. Articulating why the alt doesn't solve the case and why the case outweighs the K impacts is usually the best strategy. I am also a fan of the impact turn.
K links should ideally establish that the 1AC/plan is undesirable, not merely that it doesn't account for every foreseeable harm. I.E. links that say: "the plan makes racism worse" are more persuasive than "the plan does not address other instances of racism."