The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

The United States ought to extend to noncitizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due pr

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,372 times Debate No: 26168
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Resolved: The United States ought to extend to non citizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due process protections it grants to citizens.
Non-citizens: owing allegiance to another country
Citizens: A person owning loyalty to a country or a state and is entitled by birth or naturalization to the protection of a state of nation.
Terrorism: a reprehensible activity that breaks the rules of legitimate political violence by targeting innocent civilians.

Constitutional Due Process: a course of formal (legal) proceedings carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles
Ought:Used to express moral obligation
Value: Human dignity
Criterion: The value doesn't apply to those who have committed past heinous felonies.
All humans are created equal (human rights) (unalienable rights)

Contention 1: Every human is innocent before proven guilty
Non-citizens accused of terrorism should be given due process with the same rights as any U.S. citizen accused of terrorism and must be proven guilty by a court of law. According to our constitution, everyone is innocent before proven guilty. Due process guarantees any person accused of a crime to a court trial when accused of a crime. This right is protected and stated in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which includes the following clause (Cornell Law Journal):
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger"; Clearly every person within the United States is entitled to a trial, and the only exception to that law is when the country is in a state of war. Terrorist acts or threats are isolated and typically involve small groups of people or individuals. Therefore an individual accused of an individual crime should be provided this right. Moreover, the sixth amendment to the Constitution states that In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. Terrorist who are accused of acts against the United States need to be held accountable for those acts in the place that these crimes were committed, and witnesses should be able to testify for or against them according to the laws of due process.
In our constitution, it says that everyone is innocent before proven guilty. This means that a person cannot be arrested without proof. In any court trial, the burden of proof is the job of the prosecution, which has to collect and present enough compelling evidence to convince the judge or jury that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt remains, the accused is to be acquitted. (The Guardian) For instance, prisoners as young as 13 and as old as 70 have been held for many years at Guantanamo Bay without the rights to due process to prove their innocence. Omar Khadr is the son of an alleged al-Qaida leader in Canada. Who"s father killed a US soldier by throwing a grenade at him during a battle at a suspected al-Qaida base in Afghanistan. Khadr spent nearly nine years in Cuba as a result, even though he did not commit any crime himself. When authorities addressed the reasons that Omar remained in US custody, a military officer concluded that Khadr was of high intelligence value to the United States, providing valuable information on his father's associates and al-Qaida. Keeping terrorist suspects in detention who may be innocent of crimes to serve intelligence interests is inhumane and unethical.

Contention 2: All human beings are created equal
According to the Government Archives, the fifth amendment in the Bill of Rights states, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense." This means that every person has a right to fair trial. If a person does not have their fair trial then this goes against the Constitution itself. Written in this document is, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." " Humans are entitled to their rights, despite their religion, race, and gender. The Dred Scott vs. Sanford was a case that went to the Supreme Court that was debated on equality between humans. Sanford argued that because Dred Scott was black, he did not get the same rights that white people do. This is one instance where the U.S. goes back on its word of all men are created equal. The Supreme Court announced that John Sanford had one the case and Dred Scott had to become a slave again. This is morally, as well as lawfully wrong. In the moral code of society, U.S. has to allow the non-citizens the same constitutional due process as it does to citizens. Humans are separated from animals because they can self-judge. Since all humans that are accused of terrorism, live, breath, think, act and can self-judge, they are considered as actual humans. in the constitution it states that all men are created equal, therefore all humans, (citizens and non-citizens) have the same rights. The U.S. is not only built off of freedom but as morality as well. This idea will be further mentioned in the next contention. In conclusion, since all humans are created equal, non-citizens have the same rights for a constitutional due process as citizens.

Contention 3: Fairness
In order to establish whether due process rights should apply to non citizens, we must apply the principles of the 14th amendment, which grant "equal protection under the law." The "equal protection" clause extends First Amendment protection to anyone and everyone covered by the 5th and 14th Amendments. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has stated that:
"The last two clauses of the first section of the amendment disable a State from depriving not merely a citizen of the United States, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or from denying to him the equal protection of the laws of the State." Moreover, the Supreme Court has upheld the rights provided by the 14th Amendment in several court cases involving non citizens. In Yick Wo v. Hopkins, a case involving the rights of Chinese immigrants, the Court ruled that the 14th Amendment applied to all persons without regard to the differences of race, color, or national origin. This same principle was applied to other non-citizens in Wong Wing v. U.S. and Plyler v. Doe, which struck down a Texas law prohibiting enrollment of illegal aliens in public school. In its decision, the Court held that the undocumented status of children does not establish a sufficient rational basis for denying them benefits that the State affords other residents.

Government Archives
Merriam Webster Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary
Black Law
Cornell Law Journal
The Constitution
Bill of Rights


I negate:

I value morality as ought implies a moral obligation. Before we form a society we are in a state of anarchy called the state of nature. Celeste Friend[1] explains:

“In the State of Nature,men are exclusively self-interested, they areequal to one another, there are limited resources, andthere is no powerto force men to cooperate. Given these conditionsthe State of Nature would be unbearably brutal.every person is always in fear of losing his life.They have no capacity to ensurelong-term satisfaction of their needs.No long-term cooperation is possible because the State of Nature [is]a state of utter distrust.Most people wantto avoid their own deaths,, the State of Nature is the worst possible situation in which men can find themselves. It is the state of perpetual and unavoidable war.”

And, The Leviathan is a Hobbesian theory of the social contract that accounts for the only working possibility of preventing the state of nature with any certainty. As Cristine Travis[2] explains:

“Hobbes proposes that the best solutionisthe Leviathan.The Leviathan is therepresentative of the people, andhas a monopoly on violence, taking of property, and other actions that hadoccurred in the state of nature. The Leviathan isauthorized to do whatever is necessary to maintain the commonwealth. This can includecurtailing liberties when they place [society]at risk.”

Thus, we form a contractual government where people consent to state authority in order to get rights in return. This means the best criterion for the round is promoting the leviathian, which is contextualize and preserving the state and not returning to the state of nature. Thus my burden is to show that the leviathan doesn’t owe rights to non-citizens accused of terrorism.

Contention 1: Rights can only be guaranteed by consenting to the state which terrorists do not, meaning no due process rights. Arthur Ripstein writes:

ARTHUR RIPSTEIN [professor of law and of philosophy at the University of Toronto, doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, a degree in law from Yale]. Authority and Coercion. Philosophy & Public Affairs , no.1 2004.

“Contract enables rights, If you and I make a contract, each of us agrees to confer a benefit upon the other, and each of us transfers the right to expect that benefit to the other. We act interdependently and consensually.;contract is distinctive because it creates an entitlement: you can complain if I fail to perform, because I have failed to give you something to which you have a right. Without a contract, you cannot complain if your expectations are frustrated. In the case of a contract, I do not possess you: I only have the use of your powers in the manner specified by the contract”

This means no due process rights for non-citizens accused of terrorism because:

A) The nature of terrorism is distinct from domestic crimes because they happen on an international scene of one small group attacking a larger nation. There’s no international contract or board that promises due process rights or terrorists consent to. Even if there was, that would be insufficient because the resolution specifies the same rights as the U.S. which obviously a non-citizen doesn’t consent to

B) The resolution specifies non-citizens as opposed to US citizens granting that they fall out of line of traditional contractual agreement between states and it’s citizens. They may argue that the state can still give them rights but that would only make it permissible not obligatory which is the aff burden.

In forming the Leviathan, we give it our consent to do whatever is necessary to prevent the return of the State of Nature. Travis 2 continues:

“The will isthe last thought a person has before making a decision,a person consentingout of fear of the state of nature is still giving consent. \a person consenting to the Leviathanas a way out of the state of nature is also givingconsent to the actions of the Leviathanthis person has authorized the Leviathan to do whatever is necessary to keepsociety from returning to the state of nature.”

Thus, when we choose to form the Leviathan, we give it right to do whatever is necessary to prevent the return of the state of nature.

And this means it’s necessary to restrict the rights of suspected non-citizen terrorists because the risk of their activities causing a disturbance and inciting chaos and the return of the state of nature is too large to allow them to possess rights that might allow them to go back out to what they were doing before, especially if the suspicions are true. Taking away these rights will mean, more often than not, that the prevention of terrorism is continued, which thus keeps the state of nature from returning.

Now, let's look at the AC quickly. As an overview to the AC:

1. My opponent is failing to actually uphold the resolution in two ways because a) he's not actually proving that we OUGHT to do something but rather that we SHOULD do something. The difference there being that he doesn't prove why we are morally obligated. His only arguments are that because the constitution says we can give them and that certain prisons treat them poorly that we possess a moral obligation to do it, but this is unwarranted and there's no link between the two. The critical problem is that he poses no ethical system to back up his claims. This means that not only is he not actually proving the resolution true, but rather a differently worded version of it, but that you also have to prefer the negative's framework as I'm the only one providing any way to evaluate what is moral and what isn't moral. This means we look to the Leviathan when evaluating the debate.

2. Even if my opponent is proving that it is morally good, that's literally all he is proving. Refer back to the fact that my opponent and I agree that the word "ought" in the resolution implies a moral obligation, and he does nothing to prove that we have a moral obligation to extend out these rights. AT BEST, he's coming close to proving why it's a morally permissible action, but the link is missing as for why a morally permissible action is morally obligatory to take. You can also cross-apply the second reason why I said the Ripstein evidence negates that states this. This means that even if you don't look to the negative's framework, the AC isn't doing enough work to affirm the resolution and you presume neg off of a risk of offense and a risk of a link.

Now, let's look at his contentions. You can group them all.

1. You can cross apply the Ripstein evidence I read in my case that says that because terrorists do not consent to the US, they are not guarenteed the rights to due process. This is going to completely wipe out all of his contention level arguments since they revolve around the fact that the constitution can extend them these rights, however since the terrorists do not consent to the constitution, they aren't guarenteed the rights.
2. There's no link back to the resolution. Even if he's winning 100% offense off of his contentions, this doesn't prove an obligation in any way, only rather that it's permissible. He's missing the link there, don't let him try to come back and create one off the top of his head since it's not in his case.

So the debate breaks down really simply. My opponent isn't proving why he's being moral in the first place, meaning you presume that the negative framework is true, or why we are morally obligated instead of it just being morally permissible. And since I'm negating any offense coming from his contentions, there isn't any other way to vote except for con.

[1] Friend, Celeste. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Social Contract Theory []. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2012. <;.

[2] Traivs, Cristine. "Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan - Philosophy, Explanation, Summary." Yahoo! Contributor Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2012. <;.

Debate Round No. 1


My opponent states that terrorists do not get due process rights. I note that the resolution states that the non-citizens accused of terrorism should not get the same rights. Key word: Accused. This means that the non-citizen could be innocent. Therefore when my opponent states that, "Rights can only be guaranteed by consenting to the state which terrorists do not, meaning no due process rights." He is mentioning the terrorists themselves, not the people accused of terrorism. Thus, any arguments my opponent makes is invalid.
Now I shall defend my case.
My opponent says that I have not proven that the U.S. is morally obligated to give the non-citizens the same right, but I have. I have proved that the U.S. is morally obligated because of the constitution itself. When the Unites States first wrote the constitution it included all the people of the U.S., not just citizens. Also, the U.S. is obligated to take care of all people in the country, non-citizens included. The reason why the U.S. is morally obligated to give the people due process rights, is mainly because the U.S. has promised safety to all the people living in the U.S.
I do not want to attack my opponents case detail by detail, because his contention itself does not follow the resolution. As mentioned earlier, my opponent states that terrorists do not get due process rights, not the people accused of terrorism.
Please vote for affirmative, as I have uphold my side of the argument, and followed the resolution.


Okay, so the first thing I would like to note is that my opponent drops literally every single one of my attacks except for two. All he addresses is my use of the word terrorist and how we're obligated because of the constitution. This means you can cleanly extend the two arguments I gave as an overview to his case. This is going to mean a number of things for the round:

a) My opponent is not proving a moral obligation, or even a moral good. At best, he's proving a legal good. But saying that what is legal is what is moral is a) the is/ought fallacy. Just because it is legal doesn't mean it ought to be legal, and b) utterly ridiculous. That's like saying if murder were legal or protected by the constitution we would be a nation of serial killers. This means you literally cannot vote pro off of the aff case, since he's not proving a moral obligation.

b) You prefer the negative's framework in this debate as I'm the only one discussing the ought part of the resolution. This means we have to look at this debate through the lens of the leviathan.

Also, my opponent even conceded the entirety of my case, even specifically stating that he won't address the details of my case. And since the only thing he tried to refute was my rebuttals, you can cleanly extend all of my case. This means that:

a) We evaluate the round based on who is better preventing the state of nature, which means you have to look to the leviathan.

b) The Ripstein evidence is true. This means that 1) my opponents arguments as to how the contract gives a moral obligation are false because non-citizens don't consent to the contract and thus we are not obligated to give them these rights and 2) even if he's proving its good to extend them the rights, that only makes it permissible, not obligatory, which is the aff burden.

Now, lets look at the two things he did respond to. Lets start with my cross-application of the Ripstein evidence.

He says because I use the word "terrorist" that I'm not actually debating the resolution and thus all the arguments I've made are invalid, however:

1. This isn't actually responsive to my argument. Even if you exchanged terrorist for non-citizens accused for terrorism", the argument would still be the same.
2. Really? Because I use the word terrorist in my argument EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT I've made this debate is invalid? Ridiculous.
3. Even if his "response" is true, it's outweighed by the fact that he actually conceded the Ripstein evidence, which means that you prefer my argument since it at least as a risk of offense.

So you can extend that rebuttal across. This means that because they never consent to the constitution,
that we can never be legally obligated to give them, which negates his entire contention level argument.

Then his second response is talking about how his case proves a moral obligation, however this is just him restating his contentions and he never actually refutes or even addresses the arguments that say that it doesn't prove a moral obligation. Since he's just re-asserting already refuted arguments, you can ignore that response.

Again, the debate breaks down really simply. His arguments aren't proving a moral obligation, meaning at best he's only proving permissibility, and he dropped literally my entire case. He's just not doing enough work to affirm the resolution and I'm extending clear reasons on the AC and from the NC why we aren't obligated which means it's an easy con vote.
Debate Round No. 2


Debateexpert forfeited this round.


Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Debateexpert 5 years ago
Biology is a pain!!!!
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
You have three days. Don't concede just yet!
Posted by Debateexpert 5 years ago
you are a good debator. You have won the case, because I don't have time top post a rebuttal. Sorry.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Wow, I definitely lost S/G for that case. That was god-awful.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
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