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36 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 237 (2002-2003)
Religious Conscientious Objection and the Establishment Clause in the Rehnquist Court: Seeger, Welsh, Gillette, and 6(j) Revisited

handle is hein.journals/collsp36 and id is 245 raw text is: Religious Conscientious Objection
and the Establishment Clause
in the Rehnquist Court:
Seeger, Welsh, Gillette,
and § 6(j) Revisited
MATTHEW G. LINDENBAUM*
I. INTRODUCTION
Over thirty years ago, in the midst of the Vietnam War, the
Supreme Court analyzed and substantially altered § 6(j) of the
Military Selective Service Act.' This statute provided an exemp-
tion to combat training and service in the armed forces of the
United States for those who, by religious training and belief,
[are] conscientiously opposed to war in any form.' In three cases
involving conscientious objectors whose resistance to the draft
seemingly did not fit either the religious or war in any form
language written by Congress, the Court avoided the Establish-
ment Clause issues raised by § 6(j) by performing a lobotomy on
the statute.' The Court rewrote the religious requirement for
* The Author wishes to thank the staff of the Journal for their advice and assis-
tance, particularly Christopher Nelson, Claire Schwab, and Scott Hammack. Addition-
ally, the Author thanks Professors Henry P. Monaghan and R. Kent Greenawalt for their
suggestions. The Author would like to dedicate this note to his family, to his parents Gary
and Mary Lindenbaum who taught him how to write and especially to Yoko Okado for her
love and support.
1. 50 U.S.C. app § 456(j) (2002).
2. Id.
3. Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333, 351 (1970) (Harlan, J., concurring in the
result).

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