Debate Topics

CEDA and the NDT share a common, year-long debate resolution on a question of public concern. Previous resolutions have discussed U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East, domestic energy policy, the desirability of constraining presidential war powers, and the need to extend protections under the Civil Rights Act.


This year's topic addresses the issue of the U.S. criminalization of many so-called “victimless crimes.” The resolution’s exact wording is


Resolved: The United States should legalize all or nearly all of one or more of the following in the United States: marihuana, online gambling, physician-assisted suicide, prostitution, the sale of human organs.


Debates on this resolution will cover a wide variety of issues, including the efficacy of the “War on Drugs,” state/federal conflicts in gambling regulation, the desirability of incentive structures for organ donation, the ethics of euthanasia, and role of sex work in contemporary society. Gopher debaters began their research on this topic in early May 2014, and team members will generate thousands of pages of argument briefs on these and other related issues through the end of the competitive season in early April 2015.