Draft Inductions Halted For Los Angeles Area
An order halting all Selective Service inductions in the Los Angeles area was signed yesterday by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
Douglas acted in the case of Balley et al v. Tarr, filed last week in Los Angeles by the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The order stays all inductions until the case can be tried in Federal District Court, A hearing has been set for January 6.
The suit alleges that all induction orders are invalid because of a provision in the new Selective Service Act requiring a 90 day moratorium on inductions following Presidential signing. President Nixon signed the law September 28. The suit contends, therefore, that inductions can't legally begin until December 28.
Although the arguments are almost identical to those in similar cases being tried nationwide. Bailey differs from most of the others in scope.
The suit is a class action, claiming to represent between 1000 and 1500 men in the Los Angeles area with current induction orders. Thus, Douglas's order applies not only to Bailey and the other six named petitioners, but to "the class they represent" as well.
Some men whose inductions were postponed called Selective Service officials to express their displeasure with the Douglas order, Major W. Robert Kinscherff, assistant deputy director of the Southern California Selective Service System, said he received 4 or 5 calls from men who had planned for their induction and were "upset" that they couldn't go. "That's sort of a twist, isn't it?" he said.
Kinscherff said that some men were considering enlisting instead of waiting to be drafted. Men with pending induction orders can enlist for active duty, but can't join the Reserves or National Guard.
Scott J. Tepper, a Law School graduate who did much of the research on which the ACLU suit was based, called the order "extraordinary,"
"The system has all the power," he said. "All we've pot is a few lawyers and some Xerox machines."