This Note will explore the Supreme Court's 1965 decision addressing conscientious objectors, United States v. Seeger. The Note will argue that the Court should have addressed the First Amendment and Due Process questions presented in Seeger. In the days leading up to the decision, three Supreme Court Justices circulated dissenting and concurring opinions which addressed the constitutional questions before the Court. I will argue that the traditional reasons for invoking the doctrine of constitutional avoidance did not justify issuing a weak test for lower courts and administrative agencies to administer. I will also attempt to explain why the Justices decided to withdraw the concurring and dissenting opinions which addressed the constitutional questions.
A Matter of Conscience: United States v. Seeger and the Supreme Court's Historical Failure to Define Conscientious Objector Status under the First Amendment,
38 Hastings Const. L.Q. 201
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_constitutional_law_quaterly/vol38/iss1/6