I debated for four years at Chattahoochee High School and have recently completed my third year of debate at Michigan State University.
I do my best to resolve the central questions of the debate using the arguments that are supplied by both teams. I try not to intervene and will stick to the flow as much as possible. I will read evidence after a debate, but it is better when the warrants of specific cards and arguments are developed throughout the round.
I have not judged many debates on this years high school topic and it may be necessary to make sure that I understand the intricacies or distinctions that you think are important.
Topicality – I tend to lean affirmative on topicality in general. I find myself persuaded by developed reasonability arguments, and I evaluate topicality debates based on the predictable ground available under both sides’ interpretation of the resolution. This does not mean that I will not vote on topicality, rather, it means that the negative should impact their limits/predictability/education claims and weigh them against the reasonability claims of the affirmative.
Theory – I give the negative a lot of leeway on most theory questions (like conditionality or PICs), but I can see myself voting on theory if it is adequately developed and there are warranted reasons why a particular theoretical objection warrants rejecting the other team. Even if a theory argument is dropped, the burden of proof is on the team going for theory – not the other way around. For example, dropping 'multiple perms are illegitimate - voting issue' in the 1AR does not mean the negative automatically wins; these cheap shots are silly and I think it is pedagogically unsound for the debate to be decided on them.
Kritiks – Coming from Chattahoochee and MSU, I tend to judge debates through a policy making paradigm. I am willing to evaluate the debate through a different framework – it is a debate to be had. Given that, I am probably not the best judge for the K, however, I have become increasingly open to critical arguments. It is important for the negative to contextualize their link and impact arguments to the affirmative and to explain how the alternative is a sufficient remedy.
Performance-esque Arguments - I am not the right judge for teams that evade the mandates of the resolution and instead want the debate to center around their performative strategy of resistance or criticism. While I will attempt to judge the debate independent of my personal ideology, I have yet to be persuaded by this form of argumentation.
Counterplans and Disads – I evaluate these debates through an assessment of risk.
Warning – If debaters find it necessary to cheat by clipping cards I will vote against them and/or dock their speaker points.
Time before a round is Limited - you usually can't read the Whole Philosophy -the first part is the Short Version, the second part is if you have time to read it all.
First Part - Short / Pre Round Version
-I haven't often voted on "the Theory"
-I often vote for critical neg arguments And critical aff arguments
-You almost Always have to have a definition for your interpretation
-Impact Calculus is not a substitute for Line By Line debating.
-I will try to flow almost any intelligible speed or argument.
-I don't think that an overview is a substitute for covering on the line by line
-I am easier to convince than most that probability outweighs size
-I am easier to convince than most that there is No link / No solvency
-I am tired of people who strategically refuse to engage their opponents' substance.
Second Part - Longer Version
I don't think that many people describe accurately how they judge. This is how I think I judge, but it is always better to ask Other people how I judge - they may have more accurate information.
I will give you very little leeway after the round, in the CX, in your demands of the other team for evidence, etc if you won't SIT DOWN AND FLOW. It is not the other teams job to recreate their speech, during their prep or during a speech, for you because you were wandering up to the 2AC every 10 seconds to pick up the latest piece of evidence that they read. And if you disrupt their speech, or my ability to hear their speech, with your wandering, I will be PARTICULARLY attentive to how Flowing would have improved your points and ability to win.
-I'm not a close friend of The Theory. Proliferating "Theory" voters and cheap shots are rarely winners for me. To win one, you need to cut down the number and explain why I should vote against the team rather than the argument. "Voter for Fairness and Education" is five words and is rarely sufficient for me to reject a team. Less time, fewer issues, slower, are your best options. Any position that depends upon an interpretation of the Colon is FUBAR.
-Topicality. I have voted on End Strength Topicality more than any other violation this year (or its budgetary support cousin.) I have voted against the Draft on End Strength. I have voted on Subsets against Coast Guard, but not against Army End Strength - I don't know where the line is between them. I haven't voted on Mandatory Service since October. It is difficult to convince me that Topicality is not a voting issue. Reasonability should be a way to compare interpretations, not a substitute for it. I rarely vote on interpretations that don't have evidence to support them.
-It is Very Difficult to defeat an argument in front of me when your only answer to it is "we outweigh" or "we subsume" - Impact calculus is an important tie breaker, but it is now used far too often as the ONLY answer to a disad or a case. The best way to outweigh a disad is to Respond to the Link, Uniqueness and Impact of that disad. The best way to outweigh case is to Beat Solvency or Harms. I feel that this is at odds with the way most people are taught today, so I will illustrate by example.
In the 2NR, You extend your Politics Disad with an Economy impact. You spend two minutes on top explaining why economic recession would occur more quickly than the case, why it is empirical that it causes war, and why it would turn the case because, idk - recession deters service. Then you spend 2:50 answering the 2AC args on the Disad, with the remaining ten seconds on case saying "Politics Outweighs". The 2AR spends, lets say, a minute on Impact Calculus, a minute extending the case and Its impacts, and then three minutes attacking the disad. I feel that the Neg is in a Nearly Strategically Impossible position, because in those 3 minutes, they only have to put a Dent in the disad, because the case is dropped. EVEN IF THEY WIN THAT THE DISAD, IN THE ABSTRACT, OUTWEIGHS, to privilege dropping case and "Outweighing" it would lead to Nanotech impacts with asserted links every round.
-I often vote for Kritiks and Kritikal affs, expecially when they examine the Affirmatives' Specific assumptions, stated or unstated. I think that framework debates that are resolved around substantive issues are often better debates than Theoretical debates about framework. I have never once been convinced to vote on "Affirmative/Negative choice" arguments. Whichever framework I adapt Will include voting for one team at the end of the debate consistent with tournament expectations. I've read a lot of critical literature, but there are times where you will be over my head. I will try in those circumstances. I am dispirited by people whose strategic response to kritikal arguments is to refuse to engage the substance of the argument. I've never understood why discussing methods of advocating policies is Not Central to teaching policy making.
-Line By Line vs Overview - California debate focuses too heavily on overviews. A six minute overview with "above, above, above" on the line by line is insufficient for me. I am old school - you have to Cover.
-I am easier to convince than most judges that there is No Solvency, or No Advantage, rather than "There is always some risk." Similarly, I am easier to convince than most judges that there is No Link, or No Uniqueness. Finally, I am easier to convince than most judges that the Credibility/Probability of an advantage or disad is more important than its Impact Size. I also think that "No Link" or "We Meet" are pretty "Offensive," - I'm mystified by critics or teams that dismiss these as "Defensive."
-I am intolerant of Intolerant language. I don't like sexist, heterosexist, racist, classist, ablist, sanist or ageist arguments or rhetoric, or comments based on starvation imagery, or any intersections of these exclusions. I often actively correct people politically.
-I won't argue after the round with coaches who have neither watched the round nor understand their debaters' arguments.
-I am usually loud and long winded when explaining decisions - I like to think of it as Thorough and Engaged; I am not trying to be mean, just loud. I do enjoy judging a lot, even if I appear intimidating.
In general, I will flow pretty much any intelligible speed. I will consider pretty much any intelligent argument. I've pretty much given up trying to get people to let their partner's answer questions or to stand up or to stop stealing prep - I don't like those things, but there are bigger issues to deal with.