National Debate Topics

1921-1922RESOLVED: That the principle of the “closed shop” is justifiable.

1922-1923 RESOLVED: That the United States should adopt the cabinet-parliamentary form of government.

1923-1924 RESOLVED: That the United States should enter the World Court of the League of Nations as proposed by President Harding.

1924-1925 RESOLVED: That Congress should be empowered to override by two-thirds vote. decisions of the supreme court which declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.

1925-1926 RESOLVED: (Men) The constitution of the United States should be amended to give Congress power to regulate child labor.
(Women) That the United States should adopt a uniform marriage and divorce law.

1926-1927 RESOLVED: (Men) That the essential features of the McNary-Haugen bill be enacted into law. (Women) Abolishment of jury trial.

1927-1928 RESOLVED: (Men) The foreign policy of the United States in Latin America. (Women) The foreign policy of the United States.

1928-1929 RESOLVED: That a substitute for trial by jury should be adopted.

1929-1930 RESOLVED: That the nations should adopt a plan of complete disarmament. excepting such forces as are needed for police purposes.

1930-1931 RESOLVED: That the nations should adopt a policy of free trade.

1931-1932 RESOLVED: That Congress should enact legislation providing for centralized control of industry.

1932-1933 RESOLVED: That the Allied War debts should be cancelled.

1933-1934 RESOLVED: That the power of the president of the United States should be substantially increased as a settled policy.

1934-1935 RESOLVED: That the nations should agree to abolish the international shipment of arms and munitions.

1935-1936 RESOLVED: That Congress should have the power to override. by a two-thirds majority vote, decisions of the Supreme Court declaring laws passed by Congress unconstitutional.

1936-1937 RESOLVED: That Congress should be empowered to fix minimum wages and ma.ximum hours for industry.

1937-1938 RESOLVED: That the National Labor Relations Board should be empowered to enforce arbitration of all industrial disputes.

1938-1939 RESOLVED: That [he United States should cease to use public funds (including credits) for the purpose of stimulating business.

1939-1940 RESOLVED: That the United States should follow a policy of strict (economic and military) isolation toward all nations outside the Western Hemisphere engaged in armed international or civil conflict.

1940-41 RESOLVED: That the Nations of the Western Hemisphere should form a permanent Union.

1941-42 RESOLVED: That [he Federal Government should regulate by law all labor unions in the United States. Constitutionality conceded.

1942-43 RESOLVED: That the United States should establish a permanent federal union with power to tax and regulate commerce, to settle international disputes and to enforce such settlements. to maintain a police force, and to provide for the admission of other nations which accept the principles of the Union.

1943-1944 RESOLVED: That the United States should cooperate in establishing and maintaining an international police force upon the defeat of the Axis.

1944-1945 RESOLVED: That the Federal Government should enact legislation requiring compulsory arbitration of all labor disputes.

1945-1946 RESOLVED: That the policy of the United States should be directed toward the establishment of free trade among the nations of the world.

1946-1947 RESOLVED: That labor should be given a direct share in the management of industry.

1947-1948 RESOLVED: That a federal world government should be established.

1948-1949 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a policy of equalizing educational opportunity in tax-supported schools by means of annual grants.

1949-1950 RESOLVED: That the United States should nationalize the basic nonagricultural industries.

1950-1951 RESOLVED: That the non-communist nations should form a new international organization.

1951-1952 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a permanent program of wage and price control.

1952-1953 RESOLVED: That the Congress of the United States should enact a compulsory fair employment practices law.

1953-1954 RESOLVED: That the United States should adopt a policy of free trade.

1954-1955 RESOLVED: That the United States should extend diplomatic recognition to the communist government of China.
Click for Story on National Controversy regarding China.

1955-1956 RESOLVED: That the nonagricultural industries should guarantee their employees an annual wage.

1956-1957 RESOLVED: That the United States should discontinue direct economic aid to foreign countries

1957-1958 RESOLVED: That the requirement of membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment should be illegal.

1958-1959 RESOLVED: That the further development of nuclear weapons should be prohibited by international agreement.

1959-1960 RESOLVED: That Congress should be given the power to reverse decisions of the Supreme Court

1960-1961 RESOLVED: That the United States should adopt a program of compulsory health insurance for all citizens.

1961-1962 RESOLVED: That labor organizations should be under the jurisdiction of anti-trust legislation.

1962-1963 RESOLVED: That the non-communist nations of the world should establish an economic community.

1963-1964 RESOLVED: That the federal government should guarantee an opportunity for higher education to all qualified high school graduates.

1964-1965 RESOLVED: That the federal government should establish a national program of public work for the unemployed.

1965-1966 RESOLVED: That law enforcement agencies in the United States should be given greater freedom in the investigation and prosecution of crime.

1966-1967 RESOLVED: That the United States should substantially reduce its foreign policy commitments.

1967-1968 RESOLVED: That the federal government should guarantee a minimum annual cash income to all citizens.

1968-1969 RESOLVED: That executive control of United States foreign policy should be significantly curtailed.

1969-1970 RESOLVED: That the federal government should grant annually a specific percentage of its income tax revenue to the state governments.

1970-1971 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a program of compulsory wage and price controls.

1971-1972 RESOLVED: That greater controls should be imposed on the gathering and utilization of information about United States citizens by government agencies.

1972-1973 RESOLVED: That the federal government should provide a program of comprehensive medical care for all its citizens.

1973-1974 RESOLVED: That the federal government should control the supply and utilization of energy in the United States.

1974-1975 RESOLVED: That the power of the Presidency should be significantly curtailed.

1975-1976 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a comprehensive program to control land use in the United States.

1976-1977 RESOLVED: That the federal government should significantly strengthen the guarantee of consumer product safety required of manufacturers.

1977-1978 RESOLVED: That the United States law enforcement agencies should be given significantly greater freedom in the investigation and/or prosecution of felony crime.

1978-1979 RESOLVED: That the federal government should implement a program which guarantees employment opportunities for all United States citizens in the labor force.

1979-1980 RESOLVED: That the federal government should significantly strengthen the regulation of mass media communication in the United States.

1980-1981 RESOLVED: That the United States should significantly increase its foreign military commitments.

1981-1982 RESOLVED: That the federal government should significantly curtail the powers of the labor unions in the United States.

1982-1983 RESOLVED: That all United States military intervention into the internal affairs of any foreign nation or nations in the Western Hemisphere should be prohibited.

1983-1984 RESOLVED: That any and all injury resulting from the disposal of hazardous waste in the United States should be the legal responsibility of the producer of that waste.

1984-1985 RESOLVED: That the United States federal government should significantly increase exploration and/or development of space beyond the earth’s mesosphere.

1985-1986 RESOLVED: That more rigorous academic standards should be established for all public elementary and/or secondary schools in the United States in one or more of the following areas: language arts, mathematics, natural sciences.

1986-1987 RESOLVED: That one or more presently existing restrictions on First Amendment freedoms of press and/or speech established in one or more federal court decisions should be curtailed or prohibited.

1987-1988 RESOLVED: That the United States should reduce substantially its military commitments to NATO member states.

1988-1989 RESOLVED: That United States foreign policy toward one or more African nations should be substantially changed.

1989-1990 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt an energy policy that substantially reduces nonmilitary consumption of fossil fuels in the United States.

1990-1991 RESOLVED: That the United States should substantially change its trade policy toward one or more of the following: China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan.

1991-1992 RESOLVED: That one or more United States Supreme Court decisions recognizing a federal Constitutional right to privacy should be overruled.

1992-1993 RESOLVED: That the United States should substantially change its development and assistance policies toward one or more of the following nations: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

1993-1994 RESOLVED: That the Commander-in-Chief power of the President of the United States should be substantially curtailed.

1994-1995 RESOLVED: That the federal government should substantially change rules and/or statues governing criminal procedure in federal courts in one or more of the following areas: pretrial detention, sentencing.

1995-1996 RESOLVED: That the United States government should substantially increase its security assistance to one or more of the following: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian National Authority, Syria.

1996-1997 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should increase regulations requiring industries to substantially decrease the domestic emission and/or production of environmental pollutants.

1997-1998 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its security assistance to one or more of the following Southeast Asian nations: Brunei, Burma(Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

1998-1999 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, through legislation, to create additional protections against racial and/or gender discrimination.

1999-2000 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should adopt a policy of constructive engagement, including the immediate removal of all or nearly all economic sanctions, with the government(s) of one or more of the following nation-states: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea

2000-2001 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should substantially increase its development assistance, including increasing government to government assistance, within the Greater Horn of Africa.

2001-2002 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should substantially increase federal control throughout Indian Country in one or more of the following areas: child welfare, criminal justice, employment, environmental protection, gaming, resource management, taxation.

2002-2003 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should ratify or accede to, and implement, one or more of the following:

  • The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
  • The Kyoto Protocol;
  • The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;
  • The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty;
  • The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions, if not ratified by the United States.

2003-2004 Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should enact one or more of the following:

  • Withdrawal of its World Trade Organization complaint against the European Union�s restrictions on genetically modified foods;
  • A substantial increase in its government-to-government economic and/or conflict prevention assistance to Turkey and/or Greece;
  • Full withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization;
  • Removal of its barriers to and encouragement of substantial European Union and/or North Atlantic Treaty Organization participation in peacekeeping in Iraq and reconstruction in Iraq;
  • Removal of its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe;
  • Harmonization of its intellectual property law with the European Union in the area of human DNA sequences;
  • Rescission of all or nearly all agriculture subsidy increases in the 2002 Farm Bill.

2004-2005 Resolved: That the United Federal Government should establish an energy policy requiring a substantial reduction in the the consumption in the total non-governmental consumption of fossil fuels in the United States.

2005-2006 Resolved: The United States Federal government should substantially increase diplomatic and economic pressure on the People’s Republic of China in one or more of the following areas: trade, human rights, weapons nonproliferation, Taiwan.

2006-2007 Resolved: The United States Supreme Court should overrule one or more of the following decisions: Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 1992); Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942); U.S. v. Morrison, 529 U.S.598 (2000); Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974).
2007-2008 Resolved: that the United States Federal Government should increase its constructive engagement with the government of one or more of: Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and Syria, and it should include offering them a security guarantee(s) and/or a substantial increase in foreign assistance.

2008-2009 Resolved: that the United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its agricultural support, at least eliminating nearly all of the domestic subsidies, for biofuels, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, corn, cotton, dairy, fisheries, rice, soybeans, sugar and/or wheat.

2009-2010 Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal, and/or substantially reduce and restrict the role and/or missions of its nuclear weapons arsenal.

2010-2011 Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase the number of and/or substantially expand beneficiary eligibility for its visas for one or more of the following: employment-based immigrant visas, nonimmigrant temporary worker visas, family-based visas, human trafficking-based visas.

2011-2012 Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its democracy assistance for one or more of the following: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen.

2012-2013 Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States of one or more of the following: coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power, wind power.