The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
dtclark2188
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

Parents should be legally identified and held responsible [2]

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/1/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,503 times Debate No: 7633
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

The full resolution is: "The parents of each child should be identified as a legal requirement and the parents shall be held responsible by the government for the costs of raising the child."

Parents should be held responsible for the care of their children. Unidentified fathers cannot be held responsible. The problem is growing due to the large number of births outside of legal marriage, many with unidentified fathers.

In the US in 2007:

* Number of live births to unmarried women: 1,527,034
* Birth rate for unmarried women: 47.5 births per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15-44 years
* Percent of all births to unmarried women: 36.9
http://www.cdc.gov...

Therefore we need a system by which responsibility can be legally imposed on the parents of a child. A system is proposed to identify parents and hold them responsible.

This has been identified by professional social workers as a significant problem:

"Fathers and paternal relatives are often overlooked or underutilized resources for children involved in the child welfare system, and children themselves suffer the consequences. Focus groups and surveys in New York State identified the lack of timely identification, location, and case plan involvement of fathers as factors that contribute to long foster care stays, lengthy termination of parental rights procedures, and less positive outcomes for children in foster care. Identifying the father early in the case and helping him become involved in his child's life is particularly important." - Identifying Absent Fathers and Paternal Relatives Relatives http://www.childfocuspartners.com...

In the case of a dissolved relationship, the following definition applies: "child support or child maintenance is the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, or the government, for the care and support of children of a relationship or marriage that has been terminated" http://en.wikipedia.org... The article goes on to state, "The right to child support and the responsibilities of parents to provide such support have been internationally recognized. The 1992 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a binding convention signed by every member nation of the United Nations and formally ratified by all but two, declares that the upbringing and development of children and a standard of living adequate for the children's development is a common responsibility of both parents and a fundamental human right for children, and asserts that the primary responsibility to provide such for the children rests with their parents."

A system is proposed as follows: When a child is born:

a. Within marriage or outside of marriage, if both parents sign a certificate asserting parenthood, they are deemed the responsible parents. Within marriage existing laws of parental responsibility shall apply. Lesbian couples shall be treated as if married for purposes of parental responsibility if both sign the certificate of parenthood.

b. If the father does not claim parentage, the mother is required by law to name the father or provide to authorities a list of possible fathers. The authorities shall use DNA testing to confirm paternity. If the mother fails to comply, the mother shall be held guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by 60 days in the county jail or a juvenile facility, as appropriate, to be served within two years at a time set by the Courts.

c. If paternity cannot be determined by information provided by the mother, an investigation shall be conducted by authorities to determine paternity. Any man who denies paternity and is subsequently identified, shall be punished by 60 days in the county jail or a juvenile facility, as appropriate.

d. Authorities shall have broad authority upon reasonable suspicion to collect DNA from potential suspects in a paternity investigation. (This is typically done using a mouth swab.)

e. The parents shall be required to provide monetary support for the child until the child is eighteen. A system for attaching wages shall be implemented. The Courts shall be responsible for determining the amounts. Failure to notify authorities of income shall be punishable as a felony.

f. If the child is legally adopted, the financial responsibility of the birth parents ends.

g. If the child receives support from the government, the parents bear a lifetime responsibility to repay that support.

h. In cases of rape or incest, the mother bears no responsibility to identify the father. Financial responsibility is as determined by present law.

i. If an investigation was required to determine paternity, a fine shall be assessed upon the father.

I probably have not covered all possible contingencies. In some cases those may be covered by existing law, or the proposed system can be reasonably extended to cover them. The resolution stands upon the principle of identification of parents and holding them responsible within the general framework of the proposed plan.

To enforce the moral responsibility for parents to support their children, to reduce the financial burden upon the taxpayer, and to discourage irresponsible parenting, the resolution is affirmed.

[Do not accept this debate if there is a reasonable chance you will forfeit or if you plan to put either arguments or references in the Comments.]
dtclark2188

Con

I would like to thank my esteemed opponent for graciously extending an invitation to me on a debate that had already been accepted.

Although Pro's proposition is facially innocuous, there are three major flaws with the proposition that must be handled. First, Pro's proposition is blatantly unconstitutional because it is too broadly drawn, and will infringe upon rights guaranteed by the 4th and 14th Amendments. Second, absent the Constitutional infringements of Pro's proposal, there are still several ethical and less binding legal issues that must be addressed. Finally, the proposition is an impractical solution to an admittedly growing problem.

The 4th Amendment states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Like any law that does not facially deny Constitutional rights or overstep the bounds of the Legislature, it cannot be claimed that this law explicitly denies citizens of their 4th Amendment rights since any law passed by Congress is considered to be reasonable. However, the wording, the intent, and the high likelihood of misuse of the law cause the law to be too broadly drawn.

Upon the wording of part d., one can see that the law is too broadly drawn, and will likely infringe upon 4th Amendment rights. The phrase "Authorities shall have broad authority upon reasonable suspicion," clearly oversteps the Constitutional right of the accused party to have the burden of probable cause met to search his person. For example, if a police officer pulled someone over, and they were slightly twitchy, and if the area was known for meth. use, a police officer would certainly have a reasonable suspicion that the person is on or has meth. on his person. However, reasonable suspicion clearly is not as high of a burden as probable cause. In order to meet the standard of probable cause, the police officer would have to smell the drug, see apparatus for smoking the drug, have the man state that he is "high" (without coercion), or have a variety of suspicion raising conditions (nervousness, pipes and chemicals used in the manufacturing of meth in the back, etc.) that contribute to probable cause based on the totality of the circumstances. In the case on hand, all a police officer must have to swab a person's mouth for DNA is reasonable suspicion, which could be anything from testimony of a roommate or landlord, rumors known around the town (if it is a small town), etc. If this is all that is required for DNA swabs, then it is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment based on the wording of the proposed legislation.

Now, my esteemed opponent is not expected to be a legislator or a judge, so one cannot completely fault him for the wording of his proposed legislation without examining the intent behind the wording. However, I think it is evident that the intent of the proposed legislation is one that severely punishes those who do not comply, and would gladly overstep the due process rights of an individual to meet the ends of the legislation. For example, in part b. it states that mothers are required to supply a name or list of names to the authorities upon risk of imprisonment. Clearly, this part of the whole points to the severity of the law in question, and it points to the excessive and overzealous intent of the writer. Part c. is equally if not more harsh and telling. This portion punishes men who may not believe that they are the father by a stint in jail. It is not unreasonable to suppose that a man might not think he is the father based on the promiscuity of the mother. And, considering the extreme legal obligations that follow from claiming to be the father, it is not unreasonable to deny parenthood before scientifically proving one is the father. Finally, my opponent in part g. claims that "If the child receives support from the government, the parents bear a lifetime responsibility to repay that support," which is clearly a punishment without precedent. In fact, this punishment tends to fly in the face of every other paternity based law on the books. Although none of the above mentioned irregularities and extremes are unconstitutional, they clearly point towards the intent of writer, which is to place custodial obligations on fathers and mothers regardless of the costs. Clearly, then, it can be supposed that I am warranted in taking part d. on its face, and since it is clearly unconstitutional on it's face, it should be struck down.

Not only is the law unconstitutional on its face, it also carries with it such a burden for the judicial branch that it should be struck down based on its easy manipulation by law enforcement. If, for example, a police officer has collected DNA evidence at a crime scene, and he/she 'knows' who the culprit is, but has not met the burden of probable cause in the case at hand, he/she may very well resort to part d. of the proposed legislation to obtain the DNA of the suspect. Clearly, this evidence would be fruit of the poisonous tree, but in the legislation described above it is very easy to sidestep the burden of probable cause in any case. The police officer could find anyone with a record who had some kind of contact with the suspect who has a child, and pressure them to state that the child might be the suspect's. The officer can then reasonably swab the suspect for DNA, and, presto, the police officer has sidestepped the chain of evidence and the Constitution. Even if part d. were changed to probable cause, the above scenario would be equally as possible because the testimony of the mother would clearly constitute probable cause for search and seizure of DNA evidence in the legislation proposed above. Since the proposed legislation could so easily be manipulated to sidestep 4th Amendment rights, it should be struck down as overly broad and unconstitutional.

Therefore, if you believe in the rule of law and the sanctity of the social contract known as the Constitution, then you must vote for Con.

Negated

I will save my ethical and practical considerations for round 2, and I will rebut my opponents subsequent rounds in round 3. Thank you, and I wish my opponent the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

Con raises interesting issues. I look forward to a good debate.

1. The resolution is posed with "should." If we agree it should be done, and if it were, for the sake of argument, found unconstitutional, then we should amend the Constitution to accomplish it. A Constitutional argument based on legal technicalities is irrelevant. That leaves the ethical issues to be discussed separately, but the argument of Constitutionality is nullified.

2. Pro cites the 4th Amendment as grounds that investigating parenthood is an unreasonable search. Consider the systematic search of every airline passenger, which the Supreme Court has declared Constitutional. There is no probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or any other standard that is applied to justify the searches. There are no Court orders or reviews, and no grounds for refusal if the person wishes to fly. The right of passengers to fly in greater safety is held above Fourth amendment rights.

It is common for rights to be in conflict, in which case we (or the Supreme Court) must decide which rights take precedence and to what extent. For example, freedom of speech does guarantee a right to make fraudulent claims. For the present resolution the rights of a child to know his parents, the rights of the child to be supported by his parents, and the rights of the taxpayer to avoid paying for irresponsible parenting must be weighed against the right of a suspected father to avoid supplying a mouth swab and of a parent to remain unknown.

In weighing the rights, the non-intrusive nature of a mouth swab is an important consideration. Searching airline passengers is both public and highly intrusive, including physical body searches by government agents. A mouth swab is unintrusive and may be reasonably required to be done in private. The anonymity of the suspected father subsequently cleared may be preserved.

3. Pro cites "the high likelihood of misuse of the law cause the law to be too broadly drawn." I have not drawn a law, I have offered a resolution that outlines a system for determining parental responsibility. Of course an outline is broad, that is the nature of an outline. I acknowledged in opening arguments that there would be need for more detail. The question is whether the detailed implementation would necessarily be overly broad. For example, the system might be implemented with police investigating fatherhood might draw up a list of those they reasonably suspect and present that list to a judge for approval. The list might be sorted into more and less likely, and the requirement made that the more likely suspects be tested and cleared before the less likely. Standards for "reasonable suspicion" might be drawn up, and those standards checked for applicability by a judge.

Keep in mind that if father volunteers or if the mother names the father or supplies a list of potential fathers, then there is no need for a broader investigation of any kind. Therefore there is no general license for the police to go on fishing expeditions.

If the DNA of a sought criminal is discovered as a by-product of a properly conducted investigation, that is scarcely a severe downside. It is comparable to the authorities discovering an illicit cache of machine guns in plain sight when they originally had a search warrant for cocaine.

I do not understand Con's reference to sidestepping the chain of evidence. Huh?

4. The doctrine of "probable cause" does not apply because the suspect is not subject to being found guilty of a crime by determining parenthood, which is the information is sought. Getting a passport or a driver's license requires a person to disclose their identity. If they disclose their identity that information may later be used to hold them responsible for a violation associated with the passport or the driver's license, but requiring the information in the first place in not a violation of Fourth Amendment rights. One might argue that getting a passport or driver's license is a voluntary act, so it is fair to require a means of holding the person responsible for the subsequent consequences of their voluntary actions. That is exactly the same as parenthood. Their are inescapable responsibilities to the voluntary act of parenthood, so it is reasonable to require that identity be registered so that subsequent responsibility can be assessed, if necessary.

5. Con claims there is a "Constitutional right to the presumption of innocence." First of all, there is no such right in the Constitution and never has been. In many administrative actions of government, citizens are presumed guilty until and unless they can prove innocence. For example, the government can assess penalties for non-payment of taxes based solely upon its own calculations. It is you job to prove to the government's satisfaction that you have enough legal deductions to obviate the tax. In a sales tax audit, a company is liable for sales tax on 100% of income until the company can prove they paid salaries, etc., that offset the income. Guilt is presumed.

Perhaps a Constitutional amendment requiring a presumption of innocence is a good thing, but it is not in the Constitution now, so Pro's argument is invalid.

Con is wrong about the presumption of innocence, but even if there were such a presumption, it would not apply because the person is not charged with a crime. Only identity is being established, and for a valid purpose.

6. Con objects to (c), saying "This portion punishes men who may not believe that they are the father by a stint in jail. It is not unreasonable to suppose that a man might not think he is the father based on the promiscuity of the mother." Section (c) is worded such that the father must explicitly deny fatherhood, per "Any man who denies paternity and is subsequently identified ..." A denial means he must assert that he is not the father. Good grounds for such a denial would be that he is sure he never had sex with the woman. However, he is not required to know whether or not he is the father. The suspected father can say he doesn't know or is for some reason, amnesia perhaps, completely unsure. If he is unsure, the authorities can be proceed with a mouth swab. If he denies any possibility, then it would be logical to first test the men who admit the possibility. Only deliberate evasion is punished. This is fair and equitable to the mother's obligation to disclose.

Note that penalty is not being imposed for being a father. The penalty is for obstruction of the investigation. For example, Martha Stewart was convicted and punished for obstructing investigation of her stock broker; she did not commit any violation of securities laws.

7. Pro argues, "my opponent in part g. claims that 'If the child receives support from the government, the parents bear a lifetime responsibility to repay that support,' which is clearly a punishment without precedent. In fact, this punishment tends to fly in the face of every other paternity based law on the books." If so, it is high time we remedied the unjust shirking of responsibility. The responsibility should not go away because the child does not "go way." The point is to impress upon parents that they have a very serious responsibility, which in fact they do. The public ought to be held harmless, to the extent possible, from the results of that irresponsibility.

Con errs in asserting that the constitution is a determining factor in a "should" resolution. He errs in believing that Fourth amendment rights ought to take precedence over the rights of a child and of society. He errs in asserting that establishing identity is comparable to establishing guilt for a crime. Being a parent is not a crime. We are required by law to establish identity for many things, for the sound reason that later responsibility may require it. Parental responsibility should be enforced.

Affirmed.
dtclark2188

Con

I will try to keep my ethical objections short so as to provide a response to my opponent's rebuttal, and I will not be addressing the practical considerations to maintain focus on the normative nature of the debate. Doing so will allow my opponent to respond to both my rebuttal and my ethical argument, which I think he agrees will be favorable to the spirit of debate.

The proposition on offer is such that any and all parents are legally required to provide identification as the parents, and are required to support the child. The ethical issues present in the proposition are not easily seen when viewed generally, but once specifics are lain out, it becomes evident that the umbrella nature of the resolution is unethical. In part b. of the proposition, the mother is legally required to provide the name of the father, and if she does not, she is subjected to imprisonment. This means that a mother, who is highly successful or at the very least financially and psychologically stable, is not allowed to determine whether or not the father is involved in the child's life. Clearly there is an ethical issue here, namely, the proposition supposes that Big Brother knows best, and it is always in the best interest of the child to have the father involved. Therefore, the person that is most involved and invested with the child is not able to weigh in on whether or not it is in the child's best interest to have the father in his/her life. Since the blanket nature of the resolution denies individuals the right to decide the fate of their child's life, it is unethical in it's current form and ought to be negated.

Next, in part g., my opponent claims that the parents are responsible for any support the child receives from the government for the rest of their lives. If this is true, then all public schools should be paid for by parents of children only, all inoculations that are beneficial for society ought to be paid for only through taxes levied on persons with children, etc. The list is nearly endless, and it may be true that my opponent wishes for this end. However, it must be understood that it is in the best interest of all to help pay for some of the burdens of child rearing. For example, it is in the best interest of a country to maintain a highly educated populace to remain competitive with the rest of the world. Further, economic growth is often determined by ingenuity of a group of people, and education is vital to maintain economic health. The list is once again nearly endless. The point is that everyone shares responsibility for the children of a nation in order to benefit the whole. Clearly, if one thinks that one has a vested interest in the children of one's nation, then one ought to strike down the resolution.

Now to move on to my opponents rebuttal:

Pro: The resolution is posed with "should." If we agree it should be done, and if it were, for the sake of argument, found unconstitutional, then we should amend the Constitution to accomplish it. A Constitutional argument based on legal technicalities is irrelevant. That leaves the ethical issues to be discussed separately, but the argument of Constitutionality is nullified.

The issue of Constitutionality is not nullified if the audience feels that the considerations of Constitutionality weigh in on a normative debate about public policy. In other words, if a person thinks that Constitutionality is a basis for the normative value of a proposition, then it is apt.

Pro: Of course an outline is broad, that is the nature of an outline. I acknowledged in opening arguments that there would be need for more detail.

My apologies to my opponent for not explaining that the term "broad" has a slightly different meaning in legal terms. A broad law is a law that, through it's language or general content, inadvertently violates a Constitutionally guaranteed right. By claiming that the proposition is broad, I am claiming that it inadvertently interferes with 4th Amendment rights through its content and intent, and cannot be refined in enough detail to dispel the broadness because Pro is adamant about maintaining robust police authority for searches.

Pro: I do not understand Con's reference to sidestepping the chain of evidence. Huh?

By sidestepping the evidence, I meant to point out that a police officer is able to obtain evidence legally through the application of the proposition, even though they could not legally obtain the evidence if they had to go through the normal chain of evidence that is required by law.

Pro: Con claims there is a "Constitutional right to the presumption of innocence."

I searched for this statement several times in my own argument several times and was unable to locate it. Please disregard any argumentation based on this point considering the fact that I never made the claim.
*******************************

My opponent is correct to point out that certain considerations seem to trump constitutional concerns. However, it is only on their face that they trump the Constitution because no law is legal if it defies the intent of the Constitution under US law. In the case of the passengers on a flight being systematically checked, the courts have decided that it is not unreasonable to ask a person to subject himself/herself to search because, like driving, it is a privilege and not a right to fly. If a person does not wish to be searched, then they do not have to fly or they can fly in a private aircraft. However, the right to child and to the family has been seen to be non-derogable by both the European Convention on Human Rights and The Inter-American Convention on Human rights (Mcgraw, "International Law" 274). In other words, it is seen as a right to have a child and to raise it as one sees fit, and not as a privilege like flying in an airplane. Therefore, since having a child and raising it in the family setting that one sees fit is a non-derogable right, the 4th Amendment charge of probable cause for a search clearly comes into play. In other words, since child rearing is held sacrosanct, to intrude upon said right or the choices that right entails would require probable cause.

Pro also asserts that probable cause does not apply because the father is not being charged with a crime. However, since the proposition on offer is that the parents will be responsible for all of the financing of their children, it can be argued that having a child is at the minimum a civil offense if one is poor and did not expect the child (i.e. failed contraception). Therefore, in order to justify a DNA swab of a person's mouth for a civil offense with as much economic severity as the one in question, the police officer must have probable cause.

Much of the last part of my opponent's rebuttal focuses on my analysis of the various components of the proposition. However, it must be noted that all I was doing was pulling out the intent of Pro based on the severity of the punishments for non-compliance with the proposition. Since Pro has stood by his proposition in its entirety including part d., then my analysis is a moot point because the writer has explicitly stated his intent, which is to not force police officers to have probable cause to seize DNA evidence of a suspected father.

Since the proposition is still unconstitutional, which does weigh in on a normative claim about public policy, and since the umbrella effect of the proposition leads to unacceptable ethical violations, the resolution should be negated.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

The notion that it is unethical to require parents to support their children is novel.

Con argues that "This means that a mother, who is highly successful or at the very least financially and psychologically stable, is not allowed to determine whether or not the father is involved in the child's life. Clearly there is an ethical issue here, namely, the proposition supposes that Big Brother knows best, and it is always in the best interest of the child to have the father involved." The proposition supposes that a child has rights, including the right to be supported by both parents. Usually, there is no difficulty, because the parents voluntarily live up to their responsibility. It is only in the case when the father absconds that Courts are involved, and that is quite reasonable. Starting with the child's right to support, the Court determines if the father needs to provide any financial support. The proposition does not require that the father "be involved" in the raising of the child to any extent other than providing financial support. That the father need not necessarily be involved in the raising of the child was made clear in my opening argument in the paragraph beginning "In the case of a dissolved relationship ..." What is at issue is only potential child support from a father seeking to avoid responsibility.

Con argues that "Next, in part g., my opponent claims that the parents are responsible for any support the child receives from the government for the rest of their lives. If this is true, then all public schools should be paid for by parents of children only, ..." Con is ignoring the definition of "support" giving in the opening round, as "the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, or the government, for the care and support of children ..." Clearly I have not ventured beyond the conventional definition of child support as given in the Wikipedia article. Con's broader interpretation is fanciful. There is no obligation beyond the ordinary financial responsibility of a non-custodial parent.

Con argues completely irrelevant language in international law regarding the right to have a child. Nothing in the the proposition limits the right to have a child or for it to be raised entirely by the mother. Con overlooks language in International law cited in my opening argument that declares "that the upbringing and development of children and a standard of living adequate for the children's development is a common responsibility of both parents and a fundamental human right for children, and asserts that the primary responsibility to provide such for the children rests with their parents." There is nothing in the proposition that limits the right to have children, rather the proposition asserts the right of the child to be supported by both parents.

1. Con did not claim that a "should" resolution must be Constitutional. He rebutted that those judging the debate are free to judge it on the basis of Constitutionality if they choose to, whether it is required or not. That's true. In general, there is no compulsion to judge a debate based upon logic or evidence either. Doing so is simply a convention associated with debate. The resolution asserts that parents should be held responsible for their children. I would be bizarre if the Constitution prohibited that, but if that is the case then the Constitution ought to be amended to allow it.

2. (I apologize for referring to Con as "Pro" in 2 and 3.) The right to search airline passengers is held by Con to be a consequence of airline travel being voluntary. I searched diligently and could find no Court decision supporting that reasoning, although there is much support for a conflicting "right to travel." If searching passengers is based upon travel being voluntary, then clearly the identification of parents is equally well-grounded upon parenthood being voluntary. If a person wishes to avoid the responsibility of parenthood, that is easily accomplished by not becoming a parent.

3. Con claimed that the proposition was inherently too broad because, "cannot be refined in enough detail to dispel the broadness because Pro is adamant about maintaining robust police authority for searches." However, I pointed out exactly how the searches could be narrowed, subject to judicial review. Con went on to argue that the mother could nonetheless provide erroneous names under the guise of providing probable cause. However, that is inherent in any providing of probable cause. Whatever evidence of probable cause could be in error. That is why a judge decides whether the evidence is sufficient or not.

4. Con admits that the person from whom a swab is required is not being charged with a crime, "However, since the proposition on offer is that the parents will be responsible for all of the financing of their children, it can be argued that having a child is at the minimum a civil offense if one is poor and did not expect the child (i.e. failed contraception)." This is incorrect. There is no requirement that the parent be charged with a civil offense. The judge determining responsibility may determine that the father owes nothing. For example, the woman may have tricked him into believing that she was using effective contraception. The father, upon being identified, may volunteer to support the child, and thereby escape civil penalty.

Moreover, the identification of the parent is always separate from imposition of financial responsibility. Is installing a security camera or requiring a driver's license a violation of the Fourth Amendment. According to Con's legalistic thinking, they ought to be. A security camera provides identification that could lead to criminal penalties if it shows the commission of a crime. A driver's license is even worse, because it requires self-identification that could be used if the license-holder is caught driving under the influence.

The is no Fourth Amendment right against identification on the grounds that identification might be used as part of separate prosecution.

5. I grant the Con did not declare a presumption of innocence to be a Constitutional right. Sorry.

6. I pointed out that only denial is punished, not failure to self-identify. That stands.

7. Con provided no rebuttal that something unprecedented was nonetheless valid.

The proposition before us is quite reasonable: "The parents of each child should be identified as a legal requirement and the parents shall be held responsible by the government for the costs of raising the child."

Con asserts, that "the proposition leads to unacceptable ethical violations" Have we really reached the point in society where holding parents responsible for the financial upbringing of their children is unethical? I do not think so.

The resolution is affirmed.
dtclark2188

Con

Pro: Con did not claim that a "should" resolution must be Constitutional. He rebutted that those judging the debate are free to judge it on the basis of Constitutionality if they choose to, whether it is required or not. That's true. In general, there is no compulsion to judge a debate based upon logic or evidence either. Doing so is simply a convention associated with debate. The resolution asserts that parents should be held responsible for their children. I would be bizarre if the Constitution prohibited that, but if that is the case then the Constitution ought to be amended to allow it.

This is an unfair analogy. Constitutionality clearly comes into play as a competing right. In other words, if someone judges that Constitutionality is a more pressing right, then it certainly has relevance in a public policy and normative debate.

Pro: The proposition does not require that the father "be involved" in the raising of the child to any extent other than providing financial support. That the father need not necessarily be involved in the raising of the child was made clear in my opening argument in the paragraph beginning "In the case of a dissolved relationship ..." What is at issue is only potential child support from a father seeking to avoid responsibility.

I am sorry, but this did not come across in the resolution. It seemed as if the resolution was trying to instill a sense of responsibility and obligation on both parents by forcing both to pay some part the financial responsibilities of the child. The resolution has two parts, one of which is that parents must be legally identified, which I argued against on Constitutional grounds. The second part had to do with financial responsibility, which I argued was too general and did not allow enough discretion for the mother.

Pro: Con is ignoring the definition of "support" giving in the opening round, as "the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, or the government, for the care and support of children ..."

My apologies for this mistake. I did in fact miss this portion of the first round. I guess we are even on misquotes ;)

Pro: Con argues completely irrelevant language in international law regarding the right to have a child. Nothing in the the proposition limits the right to have a child or for it to be raised entirely by the mother.

The point of this reference was to point out the inherent right of the mother to decide whether or not the father will be involved in the child's life, and to emphasize the need for probable cause to search for the father if the mother does not wish it. The problem with the resolution, as I pointed out, is that the father seems to be required to be involved in the child's life, and there are no exceptions to this because financial responsibility seems to give the father a right to be involved in the child's life. In other words, if the father is financially responsible, then he has the right to be involved in the child's life. It is my contention that the mother, who has the most vested interest in the well being of the child, ought to be able to decide whether or not she wants the father in the child's life in any way,.

Pro: Con went on to argue that the mother could nonetheless provide erroneous names under the guise of providing probable cause. However, that is inherent in any providing of probable cause. Whatever evidence of probable cause could be in error. That is why a judge decides whether the evidence is sufficient or not.

The point I was trying to make is the inherent easy standard that police must have in order to search for the father. This easy hurdle would make fishing expeditions and leaning on the mother to provide names of potential fathers too easy. There is no standard of review for this kind of identification that would prevent this gross violation of 4th Amendment rights.

Pro: Moreover, the identification of the parent is always separate from imposition of financial responsibility. Is installing a security camera or requiring a driver's license a violation of the Fourth Amendment. According to Con's legalistic thinking, they ought to be.

I certainly do not think that driver's licenses and security cameras can be struck down as 4th Amendment violation, and it takes a pretty twisted view of my argumentation to arrive at this conclusion. DNA identification is not compulsory according to current jurisprudence unless a police officer has probable cause to seize DNA information in regards to a crime. Since DNA ID is not seen as compulsory, requiring a father to be DNA tested is a high hurdle to jump because it's inherent link to other criminal investigations and the high likelihood of fishing expeditions.

The general thrust of my argument is as follows. Constitutional concerns are valid for a public policy debate, even a normative one because, as in this case, Constitutional concerns come into conflict with the resolution. If someone sees Constitutional concerns trumping the concerns of the resolution, then one must negate. If one does not agree with that line of argumentation, then one must concede that the resolution has too much of an umbrella nature because it does not allow the mother to have control over whether the father has a part in the child's life. Since the mother would seem to have a better position to judge what is in the child's best interest, and since a father does have the right to be in the child's life if he is financially responsible, then the resolution is too broad and should be negated. Essentially, the general thrust of my argumentation is to point out the conflict in rights that occur from the general application drawn up in the proposition, and to demonstrate that this conflict in rights is unavoidable, and, hence, the resolution should be negated.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
A fiancee from Denmark taking precedence over a debate!? Actually, that logic is compelling.
Posted by dtclark2188 7 years ago
dtclark2188
I'd like to thank my opponent for a spirited debate. I am sorry I could not spend more time on research, but my fiancee is in town (from Denmark) for the week, so I had to rely solely on my own knowledge to shorten my time on the computer. I look forward to many more debates with my esteemed opponent.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
Wow, Roy, quite the worthy opponent
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by grayron 7 years ago
grayron
RoyLathamdtclark2188Tied
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Vote Placed by dragonfire1414 7 years ago
dragonfire1414
RoyLathamdtclark2188Tied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
RoyLathamdtclark2188Tied
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