The Instigator
ScarletGhost4396
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
jaketaz
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points

Resolved: Supreme Court should overturn "Diaz v. Brewer" (2011).

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
jaketaz
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,723 times Debate No: 24666
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)

 

ScarletGhost4396

Con

The first round will be for acceptance.
jaketaz

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
ScarletGhost4396

Con

In this resolution, I stand on the CON end of this debate and negate the resolution. Before continuing, I'd like to establish the following parameters for this debate.

[Definitions]

Diaz v. Brewer (2011): a lawsuit heard on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed a lower court's issuance of a preliminary injunction that prevented Arizona from implementing its 2009 statute that would have terminated the eligibility for healthcare benefits of any state employee's same-sex domestic partner (Wikipedia) [3]

[Observations]
1: The resolution asks us to evaluate a decision petitioned to be placed in front of the United States Supreme Court, which evaluates legislation through the American Constitution. Therefore, the evaluation of this law should be through the eyes of the American Constitution.
2: As such, despite my instigation of this debate, the burden of proof falls more on my opponent. While my opponent must prove that Gov. Jan Brewer's (R-AZ) decision to end eligibility benefits for state employees including homosexuals in domestic partnerships violates in no way the American Constitution, the CON only needs to provide a single violation of the American Constitution

With my parameters established, I move on toward the iteration of my solitary contention for this debate:

Contention: Brewer's law violates the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.
Because Brewer's law inherently discriminated against homosexual couples employed by the state of Arizona and violated a homosexual couple's uniterated right to non-domination, it violated the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Sub-point 1a: Brewer's law violates the Ninth Amendment.
The following explains the intention and function of the Ninth Amendment of the American Constitution: "The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
... It provides that the naming of certain rights in the Constitution does not take away from the people rights that are not named. " [1] The Framers of the Constitution realized that not every right belonging to the members of the citizenry can be explictitly enumerated by the document, and henceforth crafted this amendment in order to protect the basic, natural rights of human beings (which encompasses the definition of human rights with regard that natural rights are the rights that are placed upon human beings and are inalienable). What I need to prove is that Brewer's law violates some sort of inherent right in human beings, and what I contend is that it violates the theory of non-domination for human beings:

In this law, all domestic partnerships homosexual and heterosexual are going to have the benefits repealed. However, the problem is that homosexuals cannot get married in order to save their benefits whereas heterosexuals can. What we have here is a lack of decent alternatives and an expansion of arbitrary control, which violates non-domination principle of informed consent [2].


Sub-point 1b: Brewer's law violates the 14th Amendment.
The state of Arizona has a constitutional ban on gay marriage, which doesn't allow a homosexual the same privilege as a heterosexual in order to be able to compensate and save their state benefits. Henceforth, this is discrimination. The reasoning is sound. This is the same reasoning that the Ninth Circuit Court upheld when they ruled in favor of Diaz in Diaz v. Brewer (2011) [3]

[1] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...;
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
jaketaz

Pro

I will adhere to your definition of "Diaz v. Brewer", and with your two principal Observations. Your sole contention (dealing with the 9th and 14th Amendments) is clear, so I will focus on that.

As per these observations, I am not setting out to prove that Brewer's law violates “some sort of inherent right in human beings,” merely that it “violates in no way the American Constitution.” The Constitution does not list the inherent rights of human beings, it lists the inherent rights of legal US citizens. These rights are carefully enumerated, and rights pertaining specifically to domestic partnerships are not among them. However, I will take into account your quote from a source quoting the 9th Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people".

The source goes on to explain that "It provides that the naming of certain rights in the Constitution does not take away from the people rights that are not named." The sentence immediately following that quote (in your source) states "Yet neither the language nor the history of the Ninth Amendment offers any hints as to the nature of the rights it was designed to protect." [1] The presence of Constitutional rights does not automatically prevent access to every right not listed therein, but it does not enable every imaginable additional right, either.

The non-domination theory asserts that "no one should be under the arbitrary control of another" [2], but this language is not used in the Constitution itself. The 9th Amendment (also known as the Bill of Rights) contains specific language dealing with freedom of the press, of assembly, and of religious worship among other rights, but nothing about domestic partnerships, nor of the right to be exempt from all control by another person. [3] Since this Amendment does not address domestic partnerships, it is not in conflict with Brewer's law. Since this amendment does not address the type of liberty described by the non-domination theory, said theory is irrelevant to the 9th Amendment, or its conflict with Brewer's law.

The 14th Amendment does not contain any variations of the word “discrimination”, and does not mention anything concerning discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, or gender. It simply says “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” [5] This does not address the right to equal benefits for domestic partners, it only addresses “privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” These privileges are enumerated in the Constitution, and do not include equal benefits for homosexual couples. Similarly, it pledges not to “deprive any person of (liberty) without due process of law." As the law does not currently protect the equal rights of domestic partners, domestic partners are therefore subject to a completely lawful deprivation of liberty. The law makes no allowances for equal benefits of domestic partners, and as such it is not unlawful to deny them these benefits. For this reason, the 14th Amendment is not in conflict with Brewer's law.



[1] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[3] http://en.wikisource.org...

[4]http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5] http://www.law.cornell.edu...

Debate Round No. 2
ScarletGhost4396

Con

BOP: The first thing that you will notice is that my opponent has posted absolutely no case, but a rebuttal alone. This is a "should" debate, meaning that both of us have to list reasons why Supreme Court should or should not overturn this ruling. At this point, depite the fact that my opponent has created an argument against my own, he has no case to explain why Supreme Court should overturn this ruling. Therefore, I'm already winning this case by default.
9th Amendment: I'm very aware that my source says this, but even with this iterated, my opponent doesn't explain why the Ninth Amendment wouldn't protect this. At the end of the day, my right of non-domination provides an essential level of fairness, and even though the 9th Amendment's nature isn't explicitly specified, this right is nonetheless vital.
14th Amendment: "Nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." What this addresses is that the laws should protect everyone, and discrimination has been overturned in law as a result of the 14th Amendment with basis in the Equal Protection Clause. Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is an example of that. If the laws are discriminating against a group of people for no rational reason, it's a violation of the 14th Amendment.
jaketaz

Pro

BOP: The reason Diaz v. Brewer should be overturned is simple. As my opponent stated in Round 1, “The resolution asks us to evaluate a decision petitioned to be placed in front of the United States Supreme Court, which evaluates legislation through the American Constitution. Therefore, the evaluation of this law should be through the eyes of the American Constitution.” I agree, and since the Constitution does not protect the benefits of domestic partnerships, the Supreme Court should overturn this decision.

If the duty of the Supreme Court is to affect federal law through decisions made according to the US Constitution, this decision should be overturned. The Constitution protects plenty of rights, but never specifically those of domestic partners, and certainly not of their eligibility to receive the same benefits as married couples. If this matter were appearing before a state court, I would have a different opinion.

As a pro-equality supporter of gay rights myself, I find it disheartening to argue against my opponent. The sad fact of the Diaz v. Brewer case, however, is that this is not a moral issue, but a legal one. Rights pertaining to same-sex marriages, domestic partners, and equal benefits are more specific than what is covered by the Constitution, and these items are not protected by said document. For that reason, the Constitution should not be used as a device for protecting those rights, and the Supreme Court should overturn the decision. In order for domestic partners to have equal benefits, a federal law should be passed, or the Constitution should be amended to allow for same-sex marriages, as presently there is no Constitutional definition of marriage.

9th Amendment: I have explained “why the Ninth Amendment wouldn't protect this”. It simply states that rights listed in the Constitution won't be used a basis for the denial of other rights. The nature of this Amendment is not specific, but the one specific statement made in the 9th Amendment is not in conflict with Brewer's law for this reason: Brewer's law was not using rights listed in the Constitution as a basis for denial of rights for domestic partners. [1] Regardless of all of the non-constitutionally-listed rights imaginable, Brewer's law did not commit the sole offense that would have put it in conflict with the 9th Amendment: using current rights to prevent the granting of new rights. This type of conflict is the only thing that the 9th Amendment protects against, and it does not address discrimination.

14th Amendment: "Nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." - this does not address every imaginable law that could be used in every imaginable legal judgment. It addresses current laws. Current constitutional laws do not address or even define marriage or domestic partnerships. I agree that this means “that the laws should protect everyone”, but there are no laws addressing equal benefits for domestic partners, nor the federal legalization of same-sex marriage. If there were laws that did this, then according to the Constitution they would need to apply equally to all people. As it stands, this Amendment only addresses “privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” and currently domestic partnerships are not listed among the privileges or immunities of US citizens. As such, this Amendment in its current state is not in conflict with Brewer's law.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...(2008)
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
ScarletGhost4396

Con

BOP: I'll explain the process of Supreme Court in order to explain why my opponent has a burden of proof and a need to create a case. Supreme Court doesn't just rule a legislation constitutional by stating "the legislation doesn't violate the Constitution." Supreme Court iterates a reason via the document in order to explain why the legislation is constitutionally sound. My opponent argues against my arguments, but provides no argument of his own to explain why overturning Diaz v. Brewer (2011) would have a constitutional basis. My opponent is also looking at the Constitution and the situation at hand too literally because he's saying that the Constitution has not placed any rights in relation to domestic couples. He's looking at this case too narrowly, unlike me, who's also looking at the other angles at which Gov. Brewer's legislation can harm the rights of gays and their couples.
9th Amendment: The only thing that my opponent has proven is that the basis of the protection of rights under this amendment is really arbitrary. This means that this part of the debate can go his way or my way. The reason why it goes my way is because not only has my opponent not disputed my basis for the 9th Amendment in the scope of its existence, but I'm utilizing a right that is "current" in the scope of its existence. The rights at which are claimed are protected by the 9th Amendment don't have to be current either. The right to privacy was never spoken as a Constitutional Right protected by this Amendment until Roe v. Wade, and before that, the right to privacy was never considered to be "current." At some point, current rights were considered to be new rights, and these new rights were simply considered to be important. All I really needed to do is prove that in some way, a right has been harmed, and because the non-domination principle sets the basis for the fairness in all the options given to people, it is an important right.
14th Amendment: My opponent misinterprets the 14th Amendment. It's not talking about current law. It's talking about the entire system of the establishment of laws. I've already explained this with the Supreme Court cases based on the 14th Amendment like Brown.
jaketaz

Pro

BOP: My opponent's original statement about the burden of proof is as follows: “my opponent must prove that Gov. Jan Brewer's (R-AZ) decision to end eligibility benefits for state employees including homosexuals in domestic partnerships violates in no way the American Constitution.” This is entirely different from saying that the Constitution explicitly prohibits equal rights for domestic partners. I was not tasked with proving that the Constitution specifically declares a statute against the equal rights of domestic partners, merely the burden of proving that denying equal rights for domestic partners does not currently conflict with the Constitution. As such, the task before me relies not on my ability to construct an original case against equal rights for domestic partners, but to prove that denying these rights would not go against current constitutional law.

My opponent seems unwilling to let me debate on the terms he himself has set, claiming I need to “explain why the legislation is constitutionally sound”, and “why overturning Diaz v. Brewer (2011) would have a constitutional basis” - while at the same time (as stated in Round 2) “prove that Gov. Jan Brewer's (R-AZ) decision to end eligibility benefits for state employees including homosexuals in domestic partnerships violates in no way the American Constitution”. Therefore, I would have to find an absence of language in the Constitution directly and specifically addressing this issue in order to prove there are no conflicts, while also finding the presence of specific language addressing the issue to prove “why overturning Diaz v. Brewer (2011) would have a constitutional basis.” How is it possible to simultaneously prove that the Constitution does and does not address the issue?

My opponent claims that I'm looking at the issue “too literally”, “too narrowly, unlike me”, and that I should examine “other angles.” This is after setting his own criteria establishing that I must prove why a single law would be in violation of a single document – this is a narrow issue, and involves a document which was worded (and amended) in a finite way, which is now set into US law. I am to argue on whether Brewer's law is in conflict with things as they are, not as they should be.

9th Amendment: My opponent says “the protection of rights under this amendment is really arbitrary.” This is not true, it clearly states, in its entirety: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” This does not address the scope or number of rights listed in the present or future of the document, it addresses the usage of rights currently listed in the document to prevent the establishment of future rights. Brewer's law, as I explained last round, is not relying on any established Constitutional rights to serve as a basis for the denial of rights as yet unlisted. If the Constitution said “marriage is between a man and a woman”, and Brewer deemed that this meant “marriage cannot also happen between a man and a man,” it would conflict with the 9th Amendment. As it stands now, Brewer is not using current constitutional rights to prevent future ones. The non-domination principle is, as previously explained, not relevant to this debate, as it does not establish every US citizen's right to be free from every form of control. The non-domination principle is fundamentally opposed to every kind of law, and as such is irrelevant to a discussion of what should be made into law.

14th Amendment: Even if I were to concede to my opponent's position that it addresses “the entire system of the establishment of laws”, that still does not mean that every US citizen receives equal benefit from every US law. There are many US laws that do not apply equally to every US citizen, such as laws based on national origin, age, criminal record, marital status, income, and employment (some are found within the Constitution itself) [1]. This shows that the rights given by the 14th Amendment are not absolute, and do not include every US citizen under the umbrella of every possible right. At some point, for something to be legally enforceable, there must be a law passed to govern it. For domestic partners, this has not happened at the Constitutional or federal level, and so the Constitution cannot be used as the basis for defending domestic partners' rights.

[1] http://www.jstor.org...
Debate Round No. 4
ScarletGhost4396

Con

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
jaketaz

Pro

The Constitution contains nothing pertaining to domestic partners or homosexual couples, and the parts describing general quality are far too vague to create a serious conflict with Brewer's law. My opponent used the non-domination theory to explain his sole contention with Brewer's law, and since that theory is not part of the Constitution and is fundamentally opposed to laws of any kind, I believe it to be irrelevant to a discussion of what should be made into law.

My opponents was burdened with proving a single violation of the US Constitution and was unable to do so. As I was burdened only with proving that Brewer's law in no way contradicts the US Constitution and was able to do so, I believe I have made the stronger case.

This has been a stimulating debate for me, since I am a pro-gay rights individual in my personal life. I only hope that next time we will be able to complete the debate without forfeited rounds. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 4 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Lawrence and Cleburne will carry the day.
Posted by johnnyboy54 4 years ago
johnnyboy54
Wow. That was surprisingly civil.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 4 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
To be honest, you had every right to be angry. I just hope there isn't any bad blood between us or anything.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
Chrysippus
Well, that may be. It was childish of me to bring it back up again unprovoked.

I'll leave you alone.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 4 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
Like I said, I've been working harder to maintain my responsibility to my debates. I've been a lot more responsible these days fitting debates into my schedule.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
ConservativePolitico
But you forfeit like every single debate you ever start.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 4 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
I sense a tinge of contempt for me in this comment, to be honest. If it means anything, I really do apologize for that last debate. It was irresponsible of me no matter how busy I was at that time period, and these days, I'm doing my best to make sure that I'm more focused and responsible about the debates that I have. I'd be very happy if you give me a second chance to prove to you that, but the choice is yours to make.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
Chrysippus
http://www.debate.org...

When you threw our debate without any contact or explanation, I admit I was rather annoyed. But then I looked at your other debates - and, guess what?

YOU DO THIS ALL THE TIME.

Yeah, we've met.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 4 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
I'm sorry....have we met before Chrysippus?
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
Chrysippus
Considered taking this one, until I noticed who the instigator was.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
ScarletGhost4396jaketazTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff