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Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution$
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George Anastaplo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125336

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125336.001.0001

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. Conscientious Objectors and Military Conscription

. Conscientious Objectors and Military Conscription

(p.74) 11. Conscientious Objectors and Military Conscription
Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution

George Anastaplo

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter deals with the government power to conscript. It provides that the Government of the United States can conscript citizens to serve in the military forces of the country. It notes however, that the power to conscript is not expressly provided for in the Constitution, but it has long been considered available to a government authorized to “raise and support Armies.” It further notes that systems of military conscription have been employed during the American Civil War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It opines that however exalted the status may be of personal liberty in the United States, it does not extend so far as to require that an American army always be made up entirely of volunteers. It notes that the armed forces have, in recent decades, been thus constituted is the result of political, not constitutional, determinations.

Keywords:   military conscription, citizens, military forces, Constitution, Armies, conscientious objectors, personal liberty, United States, volunteers

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