Selective Service Act Violates Right to Life for Many

Caroline Golden

The Selective Service Act of 1917 demands that men between the ages of 18 and 25 sign up for the Selected Service, ultimately giving away their natural born right to a free life. Who has the right to force a man to risk his life fighting for a war he may not even support? The government does, apparently.

Many Americans are unaware that as a U.S. citizen, all men are required to sign up for the Selective Service, which is an agency that uses a lottery system to implement a draft. Even foreign males must register as long as they hold a Green Card, are an illegal alien, or are a permanent resident of the United States.

Not registering can put a man in jail for up to five years with a fine of $250,000 and also disqualifies him from certain government benefits.

“The more immediate penalty is loss of eligibility for many benefits and privileges connected to the registration requirement, such as student financial aid, federal employment, and (for immigrants) citizenship,” said Dan Amon, public affairs specialist for the Selected Service System.

Federal Student Aid, an office of the United States Department of Education, provides students with the necessary funds to pursue a college education.

Many high school seniors are familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the form to submit in order to be considered for federal student aid. If any male not exempted from the Selected Service turns in his FAFSA before registering, his application is immediately denied.

These punishments force our men to fight out of fear, rather than a strong sense of national duty. Courageous men do volunteer for the army and they deserve our support.

But what about the people who are trapped by an obligation to their country that they don’t believe in? The choice to fight and risk life and limb is an individual right that should be equally granted to all Americans.

The draft ended in 1973, so why must Americans continue to register with the Selected Service System? This will only create resentment among America’s male population.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution states that no “involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States.” Requiring all able-bodied men to register for the Selected Service, or else suffer the consequences, violates our Constitution.

In 1918 the Selected Service Act was challenged and brought to the Supreme Court for breaching the 13th Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that a draft is not a violation of our Constitution, but after 92 years, it is about time we reanalyzed this issue.

I propose an end to the Selected Service System. Each man is born bestowed with the right to a free life, and it is his right to preserve it.