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Sample LD Case*

*This case outline was largely concocted by Austin Hancock & Benjamin Wolfson at the Illinois Lincoln-Douglas Seminar on November 15, 2002. Reprinted with permission. :) 

Resolved: That the United States foreign trade policy ought to value human rights over national sovereignty.

1. Trade policy

2. Human Rights

3. National Sovereignty

Resolutional Burdens
1. Human rights are important

2. Human rights are important within trade policy

3. Human rights are to be preferred above National Sovereignty

Value Premise: Freedom of Religion

Value Criterion: Freedom from persecution

Thesis: When a nation violates the human rights of their citizens,  the United States should try to stop the atrocities through the use of sanctions which pressure the countries to change their behavior.

Overview Contentions:
1. Humans deserve basic freedoms, including freedom of religion

2. The right to choose your religion provides personal fulfillment

3. Religion provides a moral framework for society 

Application Contention(s)
1. The United States should discourage the religious persecution in Sudan through trade sanctions.

Tag: Religious persecution in Sudan is egregious
Source: Nina Shea, The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 1998 "A War on Religion"
        Over the years, the government's persecution has taken many horrifying forms, resulting in the       deaths of more that 1.5 million people and the displacement of millions more. Agents of the Sudanese government have bombed, burned and looted southern villages; they have enslaved women and children; they have relocated entire villages into concentration camps called "peace villages" and withheld food from starving Christian and animist communities until they converted to Islam. Individual Christians have been imprisoned, tortured, assassinated and even crucified for their faith. 

Exposition (Weigh the Values)

Freedom of Religion is an intrinsic value. It is valuable due to the nature of its characteristics.  However, National Sovereignty is a pragmatic value, valuable only if the sovereignty is not abused.


The United States foreign trade policy ought to value the freedom of religion over national sovereignty. 

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