It can happen here. Congress could simply identify a group of citizens and pass a law forcing them into servitude.
At least, Congress thinks it has this incredibly abusive power . . . even though the 13th Amendment specifically prohibits it.*
In fact, the idea of conscription — not merely for military service, but also for performing the most routine civilian government functions — is this very day being debated in Washington by a congressionally-empowered body: The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service. The commission is charged with advising Congress on whether to expand draft registration to women or end it for men, as well as whether or not to create a mandatory “national service” program for young people.**
“Should Service be Mandatory?” is the title of the afternoon hearing at American University.
The Brookings Institution’s William Galston and author Ted Hollander will advocate for drafting all young Americans and sentencing each to a year of compulsory service to the federal government. Thank goodness, my friend Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, will speak against mandatory national service, as will soon-to-be-friend Lucy Steigerwald, a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.
The public can comment for up to two minutes, and I certainly will demand the commission abandon any contemplation of assaulting the freedom of young people under the false claim of “national service.”
True public service is not involuntary servitude to the government. And vice-versa. Americans, even young Americans, have rights.
Tell the Commission to tell Congress: No forced service.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
TELL THE COMMISSION: NO
MY STATEMENT: Leave Those Kids Alone
* Regarding the military draft, the U.S. Supreme Court has somehow sidestepped the Amendment’s very clear language.
** No surprise that politicians and “experts” are targeting the politically least established adult age group.