Local Lawyers Push Repeal of Draft Law

A group of seventeen Boston area draft lawyers-non of them from Harvard-asked for the abolition of the present Selective Service System yesterday at a press conference held at the Harvard Law School.

The statement referred to the Selective Service System as "slipshod in its administration and violative of accepted standards of constitutional due process." It warned that such a system "encourages the initiation and prolongation of senseless adventures such as the present war in Viet Nam."

The lawyers' statement emphasized three aspects of the Selective Service System:

"the existing draft law, both by design and administration, places the burden of military service primarily upon our poor and less educated citizens" with most deferments and exemptions going to the affluent and well-educated;

"the draft law denies to the registrant fundamental safeguards of due process," such as the right to counsel before local draft boards;


the draft law is too complex to be properly understood by the registrant or to be properly administered by the local draft boards. Therefore, the lawyers concluded, "a significant proportion of the draftees presently serving in Viet Nam do so under induction orders which were unlawfully issued."

Charles R. Nesson '60, assistant professor of Law; John Flym and Robert H. Johnson '61, Chairman and Executive Director, respectively, of the Boston Selective Service Lawyers Panel and attorneys for Harvard students who were arrested in University Hall last April; and Michael Haroz, a third-year Harvard law student and coordinator of the Committee for Legal Research on the Draft, participated ?n the press conference and gave their support to the lawyers' statement.