Thirty-One Law Students Declare 'We Won't Go' in Letter on Draft
Thirty-one Harvard law students said they will refuse induction if drafted for Vietnam duty in a letter sent on Monday to President Johnson. They are among 321 law students from across the country who signed the letter.
One GSAS student also signed.
The students said they are "deeply troubled by the legal, moral, and political implications of the war in Vietnam," and "cannot condone the clear disregard for human lives" involved.
Two-thirds of the 32 Harvard students are first-year law men. Michael J. Haroz 1L, one of the signers, said last night that the ratio reflects only that the letter was circulated primarily among first-year students.
The letter was written by Eric Seitz, a Berkeley student. Seitz said Sunday that the pledge to violate the law might threaten the signers' admission to local bar associations. Members of New York bar character committees declined to comment on Seitz's statement Monday.
But Haroz said last night that Seitz's statement was "much too pessimistic." And local draft boards will probably not take any punitive action because no law has been violated and no draft processes have been obstructed, he added.
Over 100 of the signers attend Boalt Hall or Hastings, two law schools in the University of California. Chicago, Columbia, Yale, and Stanford were also among the 20 schools represented.
The students announced the letter in press conferences held in New York and San Francisco on Sunday.