Why a Military Draft is Unconstitutional

Why a Military Draft is Unconstitutional

When and if the U.S. returns to the use of a military draft, it would be clearly unconstitutional. It is a violation of the Fifth Amendment which forbids the government from depriving anyone of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Being forced into the military has the potential to deprive someone of all three.

Military personnel are subject to being sent into a war or other armed conflict at any time. When this occurs, their lives are obviously put in great jeopardy, as they become instant targets of enemy forces. They are expected put to their lives on the line by facing down the enemy whenever they are called upon to do so. It is not uncommon for a dozen more U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines to be killed in a single day while in a hostile environment. While it’s possible for one to be killed in an accident or as a result of violence no matter what their occupation or lack thereof, the risk of being killed in the line of military duty is part of its job description.

The liberty of people who are in the military is severely restricted, compared to that of those in civilian life. They cannot do whatever they want or go wherever they wish. They must obey the dictates of their superiors or risk serious consequences. And if they don’t like an assigned task, they can’t just quit and go elsewhere. Also, they can’t always speak their minds as civilians can. They cannot protest. That includes not being allowed to tell their commanding officer to take his orders and shove them. In some ways, it’s similar to being imprisoned.

Military service often forces people to forfeit property that they would otherwise be able to keep. They often have to give it up because they are never around to provide upkeep for it or defend it from damage, use, or theft by others. Military duty also makes people unavailable for other, moreĀ  drafting services lucrative, employment opportunities which could result in the retention of property and/or the acquisition of more. And consider the effect it has on small business owners and other entrepreneurs. Many of them lose their businesses as a result of going away for full-time service.

As we can see, forced military service is a major infringement on one’s Fifth Amendment rights. Any court basing its decision-making process on the U.S. Constitution would logically have to bar the government from re-instituting military conscription. Don’t get me wrong – my point here is not to denigrate military service. Not by a long shot. The things I have pointed out only underscore the great sacrifices made by those honorable men and women who willingly serve their country in this way. I’ve always been in favor of our service men and women getting higher and pay and better benefits. I can’t think of a single sector of our society that is more deserving.

The U.S. military is a kick-butt machine that can stand down any other on the face of the earth. Like many have noted before, it is the greatest fighting force in the history of mankind. But it has been built completely with volunteers. Why tamper with success, compromise national security, and violate people’s constitutional rights at the same time?