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Legal Background In 2003 (Grutter v. Bollinger, which clarified the Bakke decision (1978)), the Supreme Court ruled that an admissions preference system that uses numerical point systems quota systems to allocate admissions slots based on race is not permitted but that universities can take race into account during admissions in more subtle ways: Tamara Lewin and Richard Perez-Pena, June 30, 2015, Colleges Brace for Supreme Court Review of Race-Based Admissions, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/us/politics/colleges-brace-for-supreme-court-review-of-admissions.html?_r=0 DOA: 9-9–1 Over the last three decades, the court has issued several decisions on affirmative action in higher education, and most have limited considerations of race. In 2003, the Supreme Court held that public colleges and universities could not use a point system to increase minority enrollment but could take race into account in more vague ways to ensure academic diversity. In Grutter, the Supreme Court said that the University of Michigan Law School could consider race in individual applications but in Gratz they said that the undergraduate school could not automatically assign 20 points to every minority. So, again, a specific point system is not acceptable, but subtle consideration is. Although the US Supreme Court made significant rulings on the issue, it took it up again in 2015 in Fisher vs. the University of Texas due to a new lawsuit that challenges the University of Texas’ decision to continuing to factor in race in college admissions: Abigail Fisher, a white female, applied for admission to the University of Texas but was denied. She did not qualify for Texas’ Top Ten Percent Plan, which guarantees admission to the top ten percent of every in-state graduating high school class. For the remaining spots, the university considers many factors, including race. Fisher sued the University and argued that the use of race as a consideration in the admissions process violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court held that the University’s admissions process was constitutional, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. The case went to the Supreme Court, which held that the appellate court erred by not applying the strict scrutiny standard to the University’s admission policies. The case was remanded, and the appellate court reaffirmed the lower court’s decision by holding that the University of Texas’ use of race as a consideration in the admissions process was sufficiently narrowly tailored to the legitimate interest of promoting educational diversity and therefore satisfied strict scrutiny. Strict Scrutiny is a legal standard that says that government policies can only discriminate if there is a compelling state interest and no least restrictive alternatives are available. In this case the lower court found both of those were the case. Most universities continue to consider race as a factor in admissions in this more subtle ways, though such usage is banned in eight states. Universities in these states, as well as other universities that continue to take race into account, also use additional measures to ensure racial and economic diversity. This measures include taking
*A Bill to Provide A Universal Basic Income (UBI) UBI proponents argue that welfare and other social programs should be replaced with a universal basic income that is provided to everyone., which is what this bill proposes. It is a controversial topic that has picked up a lot of steam lately, with many business leaders, such as Mark Zuckerberg, promoting it as a solution to rapid automation caused by things like artificial intelligence. Some questions you should consider when preparing to speak and debate about UBI: (a) How will a UBI be determined? (b) Will everyone get it, even financially well off people? © If everyone gets it, how can that be done without massively increasing government spending or reducing the amount of money that those in poverty currently receive? (d) Would a UBI discourage work? (e) Does funding a UBI violate freedom – Does it take Peter’s money and give it to Paul? *Job Training This legislation is a basic job training proposal. Questions to consider – Is a lack of job training really the reason people can’t find employment? Is job training sufficient, if people do not have an advanced education? How is job training meaningful in a time of automation? *Rejoin the Paris Agreement This bill has the US rejoin the Paris Agreement that Trump pulled the US out of Questions to consider – Is global warming real? Is global warming caused by humans? Will the Paris Agreement significantly reduce climate change? Does the Paris Agreement help or hurt the US economy? Are binding agreements better? *Turkish Democracy This Resolution to recoup Turkish democracy suggests the US should sanction (cut off all trade) and try to kick Turkey out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) if they Turkey does not release all of its political prisoners? Questions to consider – (a) Does the threat of sanctions change behavior? (b) Do sanctions change behavior? © Is this bill a threat to Turkey’s sovereignty? Does the US have any authority to kick Turkey out of NATO? How would kicking (or threatening to kick) Turkey out of NATO impact NATO? Is NATO still valuable? *Stability in East Asia This resolution to Create Stability in Asia argues for an alliance to contain China and North Korea. Questions to consider – (a) Is China generally a threat? (b) Is China a threat to the South China Sea? (c) Is China a threat to Taiwan? (d) Is North Korea a threat? (e) How would China react to a new military alliance in East Asia led by the US? Would this increase or decrease any potential China threat? *End Medical Bribery This bill prohibits medical professionals from taking financial incentives to prescribe drugs. Questions to consider – Have financial incentives provided by drug companies contributed to the opioid epidemic? How significantly? Are such sales tactics important to the pharmaceutical industry? How could such practices be policed? What are appropriate penalties? *School Vaccinations The problem of declining childhood vaccinations and growing, and nearly all
There are a number of bills and resolutions for the UK Season Opener. We have resources on all of them, and we have evidence files on most of them *A Bill to Lift the Cuba Embargo Video Essay We have an intro essay from January here Annotated Bibliography We have an annotated bibliography here. *Japan Nuclear Modernization This resolution supports funding to help Japan develop nuclear weapons. We have evidence files above on both sides of the question. You will also find our North Korea not a threat file to be helpful. *Attack Korea I prefer to keep my opinion on bills and resolutions to myself, but this resolution to authorize the use of force is a terrible idea. There is an essay that outlines the problems here, and I also created an evidence file. The advocate of this bill may argue that it is just an “authorization,” and that an authorization may cause the North to back down, but it is actually likely to cause the North to preemptively strike. You should also take advantage of the larger file that explains why North Korea is not a threat., as this eliminates the need for the aggression in the first place. This is one article I found that favors a war. *Vaccine Requirements for Schools The problem of declining childhood vaccinations and growing, and nearly all experts agree that if vaccine rates decline that disease will spread. This legislation takes advantage of the fact that most kids attend public schools and leverages permission to attend on kids getting vaccinated. As noted, the case for vaccination is strong, so our opposition file focuses on why it is desirable to encourage voluntary measures rather than argue that vaccines are not important. *Executive Orders Executive orders “are issued by United States Presidents and directed towards officers and agencies of the U.S. federal government. Executive orders have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself” (Wikipedia) As noted in the definition, Executive orders must have some foundation in pre existing law. Otherwise, the President would simply become a tyrant, issuing his own laws. Two recent disputes illustrate this controversy. Travel ban. As you may know, Trump issued a travel ban on migrants from a number of countries. He based the legitimacy of this order on the Immigration and Nationality Act. Some courts thought he had the authority to issue the order and others did not. Ultimately, the Supreme Court said he probably did – they allowed many parts of the order to go into effect until they can hear a case on it in October. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). President Obama issued an executive order to establish legal protections for children (who have now mostly grown to become adults) to provide legal protections from deportation. He based the authority for this order on his general immigration powers. Yesterday (9/5), Trump rescinded this order, arguing it is unconstitutional and encouraged Congress to act to provide the protections.
Some have suggested that as an alternative to stronger missile defense, greater deterrence, and expanded diplomatic activity that the US strike, or more credibly threaten to strike, North Korea, with the aim of toppling the regime and or destroying its nuclear weapons. This is a very bad idea. Astonishingly, I’ve seen polls that say that more than 60% of Americans favor an attack on North Korea. This is probably because they have no idea how big of a war this would be, instead thinking that it would be more along the lines of the Iraq war that his killed approximately 4,000 US soldiers. This war, however, would be a nightmare, potentially triggering as many deaths as previous world wars (or more, if it escalates). First, Kim’s possession of nuclear weapons likely makes him feel more secure, reducing the chances that he will lash-out now. Moreover, of course, he is deterred by the threat of retaliation in the event of an attack. The only reason he would likely attack is if he felt the survival of his regime was threatened. Attacking Kim, or threatening to attack Kim, would likely set him off, triggering war. Campbell Craig and Sergey Radchenko are both professors of international politics at Cardiff University, UK, 8-22-17, National Interest, How Kim Jung-un saved the world from North Korea, http://www.nationalinterest.org/feature/how-kim-jong-un-saved-the-world-north-korea-22008 Pyongyang’s successful test of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) got the world talking. If and when—with the emphasis on when—the North Koreans develop the capability to couple their more and more powerful missiles with nuclear warheads, Kim Jong-un will be in a position to launch a nuclear strike against the United States. Kim Jong-un’s recalcitrance and unpredictability would seem to make an ICBM-armed North Korea the stuff of apocalyptic nightmares. But before engaging in a gloomy calculation of ballistic trajectories, we should also consider the historical legacies of the world’s most powerful missiles. After all, we have survived for six decades now with the unpleasant sense of wondering if someone out there, intentionally or by mistake, was about to push the figurative button and reduce our lifespans to half an hour or less. Indeed, it may well be that Kim’s new ICBM portends an era not of chaos and apocalypse, but stability and peace. The possession of nuclear missiles have historically had two overarching effects upon states. First, they provide a kind of existential sense of security, because states understand that no other nation is likely to launch an attack, particularly in a war of conquest, when the response could be even one nuclear retaliation on a city. The costs aren’t worth it. Second, ICBMs tend to make states wary of going to war at all, at least with other nuclear states and their close allies. Now that it has a nuclear missile, the North Korean regime faces the fact that a war that brings in the United States could become a nuclear war, an event that would mean the violent and immediate end of the Kim dynasty and its
From Rosslyn Model Government The first speech on a bill is either a Sponsorship Speech or an Authorship Speech If you are the person who wrote the bill, it is an authorship speech. This speech is 4 minutes long. If you have not written the bill but want to make the first speech, it is a sponsorship speech. This is 3 minutes long. These speeches have a slightly different format from normal speeches. Here’s how to make a great sponsorship/authorship speech: Identify the problem that the bill will solve. If you cannot convince people that your bill will improve the Status Quo, they will not vote for it. Explain how your bill will solve the problem. If your bill is long or complicated go through it section by section and explain what each does to solve the problem. If your bill is fairly straightforward, just summarize how it will solve the problem. Address potential arguments against your bill. Since this speech will usually be prepared before hand, put thought into this and shoot down opposing arguments before they can be made. Close your speech with a good conclusion. This conclusion should restate why this bill is so important and why it should be passed. Remember: Leave some time in the end to answer questions your audience may have.
Background — Websites Trump Commission on Addiction and the Drug Crisis Background — Articles The Opioid Epidemic, explained America’s Opioid Epidemic: Lessons from Eastern Kentucky Crisis, Need Greater Action Trump Commission Report Overdose death rates Harm Reduction Approaches to Incoherent Addiction Policies No Crisis Opioid addiction report uses panic to justify more federal spending With opioids, government is the problem, not the solution Solutions? Opioid epidemic calls for rethinking marijuana ban How not to handle the opioid crisis
Health Care Background Introduction to Health Care in the US Related: Millennial Health Care Bibliography Updates Single payer updates Single Payer Background Cities fear Obamacare repeal, warm to single payer Single payer, meet All payer Yes Cities support move to single payer The conservative case for universal health care Here’s a single payer health care plan that could work Single payer health care better, less expensive No Why Bernie Sander’s Single Payer Health Care System is a Disaster Single Payer would be a nightmare for Americans The problems with a single payer health system in the United States Canada’s single payer system: A cautionary tale Our biggest problems with single payer