Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Constitutional Debate of the Day

Question: Does the 13th Amendment prohibit the draft?

Content of the 13th Amendment:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Quick Argument #1 - YES - Involuntary servitude does indeed include being forced into the military. Joining the military is a matter of choice.

Quick Argument #2 - NO - Military service is not servitude. Conscription, even though it is seen as a last resort, is no different than other required civic duties like being on a jury.

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