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Many of the issues raised by the war in Indochina remain unresolved today. This collection presents the legal documents of that period from 181 court cases that grappled with moral, legal, and religious questions related to the draft.

The cases are documented through memos, briefs, transcripts of court proceedings, completed selective service forms, news clippings, and attorneys' work papers. Much of the material, such as pre-trial depositions and judicial opinions delivered from the bench, exists nowhere else.

Researchers and students concentrating on recent American history can study such questions as:


  • What, according to the courts, constitutes a definition of conscientious objector status?
  • What is the nature of due process as it applies to the draft?
  • How did the courts judge the question of the Roman Catholic "just war" doctrine in relation to selective conscientious objection?

Certain cases documented in this collection involve religious belief. Many others involving members of minority groups and aliens raised the issue of racism in the selective service system. And there are twenty-three cases based on the U.S. Constitution, U.S. treaties and agreements, and the Nurenberg Judgment.

For students of law, military science, political science, religion, ethics, and sociology, this collection of recent court cases is central to researching and understanding the 1960s.

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