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This is a federal case a weekly show that takes up an issue of government and takes a good look in Washington D.C. I Manziel producer for the national educational radio network. I have not had any contact with General Hershey or any kind of personal level and he is being promoted to another position and that there will soon be a new director selective service. I think that's sufficient answer. This week we're going to hear about something else that goes on in Washington D.C. that is not part of the federal government. You just heard Alan granit Skeat commenting on Lieutenant General Louis Hershey Mr. din that ski is editor of the Selective Service Law reporter a publication which reports on how the draft laws are being interpreted in courtrooms all over the
country. The law reporter exists really in response to General Hershey. Now if you're well past draft age or female the chances are good that you've never heard of the law reporter. But if you're male and draft age the chances are better that you have heard about this publication because the kind of stuff it prints is the kind of stuff that could keep you both out of the army and out of jail. I talked recently with Andre need ski and you're going to hear him talking about his selective service law reporter and the implications of the new lottery system. First listen to how he reacts to the expression beating the draft. There are people who can beat the draft and they can beat the draft legally these days in any way responsible. I hope when you say the draft I would like to turn that around in some way and describe it as somebody who
is fully pursue the rights that exist under the statute regulations promulgated by the president. This. System of employing one's one's right. I have had no problems whatsoever to the extent that you beat the draft I think it shows the inequities in the present Act which has a deferment system that as pointed out by the Marshall Commission has many many inequities and it will not all serve which is the name of the report. Pretty much those people who cannot afford or cannot get into schools of higher education. People who cannot get one kind of job or another usually those jobs which are occupationally deferral are jobs that you cannot get into unless you have four years of college education so that so that. The deferment system I think is is what's wrong with the draft as
it as it's now established in this country and to the extent that you can use the deferment system to avoid service. You are quote beating the draft within the terms of not serving two years in the armed forces. Now the other side of the picture which disturbs me as as much as the deferment system is what's called channeling. Now you may be in the draft. If you go to college and then get a job that is draft deferral or go into an apprenticeship program or something that will defer you or any any number of of course situations or statuses that that would let you beat the draft the the. Reason that that general Hershey has given for the deferment system is this channeling effect in other words we as a country want people
to go to college. We as a country want people to take certain jobs and therefore we give deferments for those types of things that we want people to go into so that you indirectly through the draft system affect people's lives in a way that is in the best interests of the country as seen by selective service so that you have a system that is sort of science invidious as far as controlling people's lives and there is a channel memorandum that was put out by General Hershey that that very clearly reveals this. The other side to the deferment system so that. So that in a sense you may be in the draft but you're not beating the challenge system. And and as far as people are concerned it would be just as well to have you in the army as to have you in the draft or for a job because we want you
one place or the other and we're going to put you one place or the other by our rules. OK now that history needs ski's personal opinion of the Selective Service system in this country and it's probably the feeling of most of the people who work with them to get out the law reporter but they are not publishing any kind of manual for students or a loose little fly by night sheet in the subject of the draft. You'll hear grenade Skee explaining now exactly what his publication is and what it does. How did you get into being editor writer. Well when I was a senior at Yale Law School I was in a draft seminar taught by John Griffiths and in that seminar wrote a paper that had to do with possession of draft cards that was eventually published by the Selective Service last year. Mike Tigar who resigned his position and they started looking for a new
cause of the previous article I have written they have published. That's pretty much all of last year I was working for United States district court judge here in District by the name of Gary Hart. Tell me about the history of the psychotherapist. Well it was started in April of 1968. A number of attorneys have decided that there was a body of law put together on draft law that a lot of cases were being decided that there was a lot of activity in draft law and that unlike other areas of law which have Reporting Services the draft area had very little to give to those lawyers who wanted to get into the area who wanted to gain more expertise or who just wanted a
service that would provide them with recent cases. A lot of cases were going reported a lot of cases were reported to late. There was no interpretation of these cases especially the uninitiated it seemed like a field just a maze of contradictory regulations. And so as a result of this a number of people got together form the public education institute which is. Nonprofit organization that publishes a selective service or order and it's been in existence since 1968. Does it address itself to well the subscribers who now number around 2000 are mainly lawyers and draft counselors was a scattering of just all sorts of people who get it. They vary from people in the Navy to Dow Chemical. We have we have government attorneys U.S. attorneys offices subscribing but
we're basically concerned with lawyers who are actively counseling or trying draft cases and counselors who are in the everyday practice of advising people of their rights under the Selective Service System. How do you get your articles. The articles are in basically two forms. We we publish monthly and we publish recent decisions from all United States district courts and courts of appeals. There is a newsletter that accompanies every issue 47 pages and that newsletter comments on some of the cases and more important cases that are in the issue. There are also short little articles about newsworthy events within the draft lawyer.
There is also a separate articles and comment section in which we publish larger more legal articles. We publish one every two three four months. It varies depends on how many people are submitting articles to us but generally the people who are subscribing are the people who are forging articles to us for possible publication because these are the people that are active in the field. How much is income lost. There are varying rates depending on whether you are an attorney or whether you are. Library or whether you are a draft counselor and they vary from approximately twenty to fifty dollars a year. Where does the money come from. Started this original money was from foundations and are now almost self-sustaining and there is
a possibility that with the increase of subscriptions that are coming about because of the lottery system that has just been instituted that we could become self-sufficient within a reasonable amount of time. As the editor of a porter what would you like to see. Well I. I feel that that the deferment system definitely should should go. But my my problems ours is that my problems are whether and to what extent I'm in favor of an all volunteer army something that I haven't completely made up my mind about I waver back and forth about it. I think that as as long as you have a system that has the deferment so you have you have a system that that is bad you can get rid of the deferments and still have conscription
or without without necessarily being universal service. Or you could you could go to an all volunteer army. I think either way either one of those would get away from the basic problem the gist of the draft law but there are some problems with systems there. Right that's why I can't make up my mind what is it that bothers you about some of the I like the idea of an all volunteer. As far as your volunteer Army is concerned I'm bothered by the professionalism that is going to come along with it. But the problem is that. I cannot really myself have a have a nice feel for the professionalism that now exists. I think that's the other side of the argument that has come out that you may have. You may increase professionalism but even even now
you have a professionalism especially at the higher levels that will be no different under an all volunteer army. I think that's why you have this curious group of people backing the all volunteer army legislation you have. You have been introduced by Hatfield and supported by Goldwater and I think that the problem that I have been haven't been able to figure out those two individuals at least to figure it out to their own satisfaction and come to common ground. Now Allen talks in some more detail about one of the results in general Hershey's directorship of the Selective Service. I think I think one of the more outrageous examples of this conduct is the famous Hershey letter of October 67. In that letter he advised local boards that they could reclassified as delinquents and therefore eligible for priority induction accelerated induction. Those registrants who engage in illegal activities. The letter was written soon after the draft card turn ins of October
67. It was a time when demonstrations in front of induction centers and from local boards were going on and there was nothing in the letter or the accompanying documents to in any way define illegal. It was totally left up to the board members so that you had the local board acting as prosecutor judge and jury. Essentially saying well X registrant demonstrated in front of the local board. I don't think that that was legal and therefore we will declare him a delinquent class a fine one a and he will be inducted immediately. There was very little review within the system of this and it was encouraged it was encouraged in a way that. By saying that you gave deferments in the national interest. And if somebody did something that wasn't in the national interest that is demonstrated in front of the
local board. You took away his deferment. That was OK. I think that this was one of the more illegal things that her she did as as a director. It's been compound it since then by the fact that it took a year and a half for a successful lawsuit to strike down that Hershey directive when it was struck down her she in no way informed the local boards of this decision. I also in some sense blame the court because they did not instruct her she to do anything of the sort. And. The local boards as far as we know are still unaware of the decision. They may still be reclassified people for activities that are perfectly legal thereby suppressing First Amendment rights and the
the whole aspect of her she's not saying anything to the to the line officers of the system is is pointed up to the heart of that is really point of when it's brought out that when the district court here in Washington which originally heard the suit dismissed that suit never even sort of let it get in the courthouse door. When that was dismissed that was prominently announced in the monthly Selective Service magazine. You're to have later in the district when the district court is over ruled by United States Court of Appeals you're in a very nice decision. The Selective Service magazine has absolutely no mention of this decision whatsoever. And I think that is this type of activity and this is perhaps one of the most blatant more recent examples of this type of activity which has as its general Hersey popularity.
The lottery system is still pretty new and like a lot of other things about the Selective Service system in this country it's not very well understood. Now under needs he said that his long reporter office was flooded with so many phone calls the week after the dates were announced that he would do to the library and his office after all is not a draft counseling center. Now he tries to explain a few of the foibles of this new system. Tell me if you will briefly have a lottery system works. Well before I say anything let me just say that what I will give you is my interpretation of it. And. That doesn't necessarily mean that the 4000 local boards around the country are going to follow my interpretation of certain ambiguities in the regulations. And it is not unusual for boards whether there are ambiguities or not to disregard regulations as happened in the past is no reason why it shouldn't happen. Random selection briefly those people between
19 and 26 on December 30 1st 1969 received a number for their birthday in a national lottery here in Washington. Those numbers gave them a place in the pool of registrants just as before only those registrants who were 1A or one that is classified available for induction will be called. And the difference is that instead of being called on all this first bases they will be called in the order in which their number is reached by their local boards. This is not on a national basis by the local boards. And just as before people who are deferred are not subject to induct. Similarly if someone is deferred for the year he cannot be called even even if he is number one if he has a two to firm and or three a
deferment if he is number one it makes no difference whatsoever because he's deferred the lottery in that sense only applies in an active way to those people who are available and acceptable for induction. One of the ramifications of this for say somebody who was in the position of of being uncertain before unless he stayed in school. How is it different now. Well I don't I don't think it really is different. I think that President Nixon has given a lot more credit to the lottery system then and it's deserved. The only people who will benefit from the lottery in the sense of being more certain. About their future. Those people who make it through a lottery year in which they are and who at the end of that year have their number has not been reached and thereby
go into a lower priority. Only those people in other words who can escape the lottery after a year of being in the pool and let me just say. That doesn't have to be a full year. It just means you have to lose your deferment you have to be 180 during during that year and until the end of the year. It's the it's not your birthday to the end of the well actually just the wording of the regulation is those people who December 30 First of 1970 are in the pool that is 1 and were between 19 and 26 last December. And who have not reached age 26 age 26 is still a magic cut off to some degree. Well that's been modified a little bit. Those people in other words who were in the pool at the end of the year and whose numbers have not been reached. They'll go into a lower priority. Now if you believe some of the boards have stated that they will go through. From a numbers 1 through 366 that will leave nobody at least in that local board to go
into the lower priority and it's only the person who can get into the lower priority who has that assurance that most likely his vulnerability is ended. Doesn't mean it's absolutely ended he just goes to a lower order and call it just the way the person who reaches age 26 goes to a lower water but his order is so low that it's very unlikely that it will be called and the modification of the age 26 is a previously aged twenty six was magic in that you went for the what is called Category 3 in the order of call which is which is really that part of the order of call from which people are the induction calls or fill down to Category 5 and it meant basically you weren't going to be called unless it was a real large national emergency. Well now all that still basically true there will be a small group of people who will turn 26 while for instance they're appealing to one a classification.
If at the end of that appeal for example they are still 1A In other words if the appeal is unsuccessful then they are subject to induction if prior to reaching age 26 their number had been reached by their local board. In other words the person who nearing age 26 who looks like he's going to be inducted can't appeal his way out of the draft anymore. There's an anti delay proviso that's built in the proof that that will catch people a small group of people turning 26 and will also prevent people from doing the same thing at the end of the calendar year. Otherwise just as before twenty six was a safety point the end of the calendar year now becomes a safety point. But this proviso will catch people from going into the lower priority group by saying that by the wording of this of this proviso.
There's been some news recently to the effect that President Nixon wants this lottery system to be just a first step. Kind of two to ending all school deferments. For example do you want to comment on that one how do you see that. I'm not sure what exactly you're referring to. You're referring to a comment by Laird. I think it was on on one of the Sunday news programs. I did not hear the program. I can only say that the president cannot as a statute now stands and student deferments student deferments are guaranteed under the statute right now. I don't know what Laird had in mind whether it was a slip of the tongue or whether there is there is one thing in the statute that says. Something to the effect of of basically in the case of a national emergency they can be withdrawn.
I don't see that. I don't see that the present situation fits within the statutory wording and that statutory wording is the only exception. So that the only thing that that could have been legally referred to as far as I'm concerned is the introduction of the administration bill that would call for the end of the least mandatory student deferments and maybe go back to a discretionary system as we had prior to 67 or completely abolished and which is something I would favor. Yeah but how how how would you go about completely abolishing the deferment. I mean that with the introduction of an administration supported Bill for example that right through through there. There are a number of pieces of legislation that are that are introduced right now that would end student deferments. How do you evaluate the lottery system as a whole American to some enough.
I think that it's causing a lot. Of unnecessary confusion that it doesn't seem to me to be anything there particularly in the old system that it highlights the inequities of the deferment system more than ever before. A person who is number one and is now in school and they get out of school and then get a teaching deferment and teach until age 26 and then quit his teaching and go to graduate school. It's happened before it can happen now it becomes a little more blatant because you can see he's number one and he's never been called. I think that the great amount of uncertainty that appears in the press about how far local boards are going to go in there and their sequence of numbers doesn't help anything. It does make some people aware of their vulnerability more so than before. I think though however all
that does is increase the channeling that goes on. And I'm also against it and so that except for that small group of people that are going to make it into the lower priority and who thereafter will have some feel a feeling of security. I think that that it's not worth all of what's gone on to get that group. In a in a better situation and I don't think at all that you can describe the system as calling basically people between 19 and 20 years old it's just it's no different than the old or old system in that sense you're still going to be calling people who are not deferred basically it's just doesn't mean anything now anymore than it did before except before you were called in and all this first base is to the extent that that you increased your liability as you got older.
Perhaps that was bad but it was people with student deferments anyhow. They're increasing their liability as they get older because they will be older when they go into the pool. After four years of education so I don't think much was gained. How do you see the future. REPORTER Do you think it's going to get along. You're headed for the impossible. Prosperous I don't know a long time. Unfortunately yes or 3000 pending indictments in the federal courts right now. Where is. Previously we were reporting 20 written opinions a month were now reporting almost 40 written opinions of the increase in draft cases is up 85 percent from a year ago. The new law I don't think is going to change any of that unless you go to an all volunteer army. People will continually refuse to submit to induction or pre-induction review cases or will go into the army and then
bring what's called the heaviest corpus action or to get out. I think that. 3000 cases could easily keep a lower board busy for another couple years if they stop the draft tomorrow. Now under Netsky is not trying to use his publication to change the world or to promote a volunteer army or anything else. As he said he's not sure how he feels about the volunteer army idea. Furthermore in a sense the fact that his long reporter exists is testimony to the complications and inequities of the draft laws in the country that need if nothing else explaining. The Netsky said he expects his publication will be around a while longer. The Selective Service Law reporter and the people who put it out are good examples of what some of the young people do in Washington who aren't exactly working for the federal government these days but who haven't opted out of the system either. Young men like our underneath are using their professional talents in this case as lawyers and journalists
A Federal Case
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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"A Federal Case" is a weekly program produced by the National Educational Radio Network which examines current political topics in the United States and Washington, D.C. Each episode features interviews with experts, members of the public, and lawmakers concerning a specific issue of government.
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Producing Organization: National Educational Radio Network
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