ERIC Number: ED172290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
And Affirmative Speeches Shall "Not" Serve as Legislative Intent!
Benoit, William L.; Follert, Vincent F.
Legislative intent as a debate tactic is drawn from the judicial system as a fundamental concept in the interpretation of statutes. Two paradigms for the application of legislative intent have emerged: (1) the courts will examine the affirmative proposal after enactment to bring it into line with the intent of the affirmative team, and (2) the debate judge is cast into the role of the adjudicator of the conflict concerning plan interpretation. The difficulties with the first paradigm include: courts may not become involved, courts may not accept intent as expressed by the affirmative in the debate, courts have generally chosen not to expand legislation beyond the language of the statute itself, and there is no record of the debate for courts to depend on. The major difficulty with the second paradigm is that a debate judge is not deciding upon the application of legislation but upon whether the proposal ought to be enacted at all. Educational reasons also argue against the use of legislative intent as a tactic: it introduces new arguments in the rebuttal stage, it may force the negative to abandon good arguments because the affirmative clarified too late in the debate, and it encourages the use of ambiguous language in formulating a proposal. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (St. Louis, Missouri, April 5-7, 1979)